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Media companies struggling with personalisation

15th August 2016 • Notebook

In the UK, 61% of media companies lack the ability to deliver personalised content to customers, a survey from big data integration specialist Talend has revealed.

The poll, which surveyed the views of media organisations in sectors ranging from publishing to television broadcasting and from print and online journalism to film, found that only 19% of firms are certain they can deliver personalised content any time to any device.

In line with this finding, more personalised customer engagement is seen as the top business challenge media organisations face with regards to using data to drive a business advantage (cited by 22% of the sample).

“It’s clear from the poll that media organisations in the UK have yet to get to grips with the holy grail of personalisation which is simply now expected by consumers,” said Mark Truswell, Media Business Lead, Talend.

A lack of in-house skills and resources was seen as the number one barrier to understanding the sentiments of customers today, referenced by 27% of respondents. Along a similar track, a lack of real-time data analytics capability was cited as a barrier by 24%. Siloed data and poor integration are also causing a problem with 34% saying this is one of their biggest technical challenges.

“These figures get to the heart of the problem facing media companies today as they strive to become more data-driven and use that skill to deliver the best possible personalised experience to consumers,” added Truswell. “They need a robust and reliable data integration platform in place in order to deliver high-quality data analytics; gain insight into customer preferences and behaviours and deliver the truly personalised service that drives competitive edge.”

While the technical capabilities may not yet be in place, organisations across the sector are at least increasingly aware of the issues they face and understand the need to tackle them.

Moreover, well over half (59%) either strongly or slightly agree that the industry today has a clear understanding of big data analytics, (which will be key in delivering the insight that will power personalised multi-screen services in the future), with only 13% disagreeing. Equally, there is a clear consensus that it is important for media companies to demonstrate their knowledge of customers and their ability to personalise service offerings to them. 82% of respondents said they thought it was important to demonstrate that they understand the customer on a unique individual basis.

Respondents also had a largely positive view about a future increasingly driven by personalised content. When asked about media content syndication 10 years from now – the most popular answer (cited by 42%) was that “driven by a combination of personalised, better quality content and enhanced insight into customer behaviour, it will be thriving more than ever”.

“It’s clear that businesses across all areas of the media from print and online journalism to television broadcasting increasingly understand the importance of personalisation and the benefits of data integration and big data analytics in helping to achieve it,” says Truswell, “but siloed data stores and a lack of in-house skills, resources and tools are holding them back.”

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