Media & Entertainment Brands Have Room for Improvement with Personalization

Companies born out of this digital era like Netflix or Hulu have disrupted a multitude of industries, and media and entertainment is certainly no exception. These brands exist exclusively online and are a major threat to older, more traditional brands. Why? They emphasize is on the customer experience—making it more convenient and personalized, they sell online direct-to-consumers often in subscription-based platform, and typically utilize data more efficiently and profitably. 

Think of it this way—instead of choosing which movie to see at the cineplex, you log on to Netflix and they have a curated selection of content based on your previous views. Not only do they have “Just For You” but they’ll have multiple sections based on particular interests; for me it’s probably something along the lines of “because you watched all 7 seasons of The Great British Baking Show in 4 days, are you ok?” 

My Netflix binges aside, their brand is centered around filtering through their millions of hours of content based on my interests so I don’t have to. 

And while the likes of Netflix and Hulu are leaders in the media and entertainment business, our data suggests that brands have not fully embraced the new trend. 

We aggregated all campaigns within our data library that originated from media and entertainment apps—more than 37,000 apps in total. We found that media and entertainment apps fall within Stage One along our proprietary stages of personalization, which you can read more about here. Take a look at this chart:

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We found that 10% of campaigns from media and entertainment brands are broadcast messages, in other words, they get sent to every single user who has their app. While 10% may seem low, it’s high relative to other industries. For context, retail brands utilize broadcast messages only 3% of the time and travel and lifestyle brands send broadcast messages only 2% of the time. By comparison, the media and entertainment space is sending drastically more broadcast messaging compared to other industries. 

Another measure media and entertainment lags behind other industries is in liquid messaging. In liquid messaging, the content can be dynamic—maybe their first name is inserted into the message or a particular interest is populated in the content of the message.

M&E brands show very low usage of this feature compared to other industries. Only 0.8% of campaigns from this industry took advantage of liquid messaging. Other industries overall utilize liquid content in 4.7% of their campaigns with the industry leader being the retail space at 8.4% of campaigns. 

And while media brands are currently pacing behind other industries when it comes to personalization efforts, that means there is the most room for improvement.

There are a few special cases for this industry in which it makes sense for broadcast messages. Newspaper outlets will likely use broadcast messaging for breaking news alerts, for example. But even in this example, it may not be the best option—if media brands consider too much to be breaking news, users may get bombarded by messages and the risk of turning off notifications increases. 

In this scenario, online publications could further their personalization by having a high barrier for what is considered breaking news. All other notifications could be personalized based on a few qualifiers:

  • What topics the article covers—if a user is clicking on all environmental news notifications but never opens one about politics, don’t send them those messages   
  • How often they click on notifications—if users are more active with your app, they’ll likely be more engaged with a higher volume of messages than more passive users
  • What time to send them a notification—do they like to keep up to date with the news on their commute? Maybe when they wake up or go to sleep? Lunch break?   

In just that one example, online publications will likely find higher engagement with their messages and less churn by individualizing their content to the user. So what are some other ways different types of M&E brands can utilize personalization?

  • Content streaming services could personalize which content to push based on preferred genres of each user
  • An events app could drill down notifications by location or venue—extra points if you personalize based on event category! Don’t send a country music concert notification to someone who exclusively clicks on special exhibits at an art museum. 
  • A gaming app could send a notification at the typical time users play the game. If they are playing on their commute—send a message that prompts them to play a game at 8:30 a.m.

Depending on your brand and app, the personalization possibilities could be game changing. By following industry leaders in personalization efforts, your brand could see improved ROI, reduced churn and notification opt-out, and higher engagement. 

How are your brand’s personalization efforts? Track which stage of personalization your brand is currently at through our Deliver Meaningful Digital Customer Experiences With An Intelligent Personalization Framework ebook. 

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