Listening to good old “Auntie” BBC on the radio recently my interest was piqued by a discussion with Digital Fashion companies about a dress that had been sold for almost £8,000, but it doesn’t “exist”.
The garment was purchased but production never went further than a mouse click – a digital dress superimposed onto the lady it was bought for.
My first assumption was that this ‘fashinnovation’ was quite leading edge in the market but this isn’t the case, and it’s obvious really, billions of dollars have already been spent to customise digital outfits in gaming for years - and fashion is rapidly playing catch-up.
There are already many layers (no pun intended!) – digital fashion, virtual fashion, fashion shows exhibiting via virtual catwalks to model and promote their wares. Phrases such as “digital couture are now commonplace and perhaps less catchy, “Phygital”, merging the physical and digital. Fashion for avatars and online personas is also growing at an exponential rate (to coin a relevant topical term).
And then, even 3D printing to create the physical garment if you just have to have that tangible article and all the while blockchain technology is used to ensure that a unique piece cannot be cloned or “worn” by someone else online.
Another assumption was that this was just a young market but the presenter of the show (of young middle age), who also was circumspect, positively said that she wanted to try it out. Her reasoning was that especially in these lockdown and social-distancing times, to look good in a feel-good setting and then share and ‘chat’ with friends on social media was an attractive idea. And eco-friendly in the face of fast-fashion.
The point here could easily be not to make assumptions. What appeared on the surface to be innovation in an industry, was in fact playing catch-up led by the personalisation of fashion, sold and engaged in digitally and rapidly accelerated through customer demand in the lockdown world. It has opened up new options for consumers who can buy and dress up ‘digitally’ in a piece of fashion they would otherwise never have been able to afford, or even dare to wear!
And so, to my main point. Here is an extreme example of personalisation being delivered in an exciting and innovative way, whereas personalisation is rarely delivered exceptionally well online. Actually, it’s rarely even delivered reasonably well for the most part. Utilising AI and machine learning will undoubtedly change our approach to marketing for hyper-personalisation of content and customer experience, however most companies are failing to deliver even the most basic of personalisation in their digital marketing.
How frustrating is it, that on the basis that most have at their fingertips cost-effective, current day technology that makes this all very possible and affordable, I still get emails and paid channel ads that don’t recognise any of my online behaviours? It’s not just the click through they miss, it is missing the very fact I repeatedly don’t click through that is often as telling.
Existing software such as Content Management Systems (CMS), already owned by nearly every online business provide the tools to deliver personalised and integrated experiences for prospects and clients so it really shouldn’t be difficult or costly for brands to be doing this properly. Marketing automation, personalised pages and usable analytics, all available ‘Out of the Box’ are often just not being used properly, if at all. Why? Lack of training, appetite, or skills? All easily fixed by an agency like us; it won’t cost the world but it might just make a world of difference.
So, let’s try and make Q4 of 2020 the Quarter of Personalisation and start recognising our customers for who they are and what they do, and then we’ll be able to celebrate Christmas in style, with that digital dress for the party!
To improve your digital personalisation activity, give Positive a call. We can help.
Business Director, Positive