Mildred Thabane: Consumers want to be part of the customisation journey

Communications professional at The Comms Avenue

Mildred Thabane is the Chief Executive at Pekuzi Projects in South Africa.


As the pandemic continues, we are only now slowly emerging from what feels like a long slumber – bleary eyes, foggy brains and stiff limbs – but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet.

The forced global lockdowns pushed many of us online and we’re realising that many will continue to stay there. But how do we create better experiences online that are both personalised to each user’s needs and also ensure we comply with data and privacy laws.

Interesting research by Accenture has revealed that more and more companies are partnering with consumers to create experiences instead of just providers of it. Consumers want their content customised automatically based on their current context. We’ve definitely seen increased consumer outcry when brands develop campaigns that lack any relevance to the current climate – think Nikon and Clicks.

Social media and enhancements in digital listening tools means that we can now create campaigns and solutions for clients iteratively – the continues loop of listening, watching, collecting data and enhancing or altering messaging puts us in a unique position. When done correctly this can help us develop a deep understanding of our consumers and create powerful content that resonate thus building brand affinity.

There’s a line though – the South African Security’s Data Privacy & Security Survey for 2019 found that only 17% of respondents thought personalised adverts were ethical, while only 24% said personalising newsfeeds is ethical.

While personalisation efforts grow, consumers still want to be in control. By adapting the personalisation process to include user participation, consumers become part of creating their own journeys online and offline. Taxi-hailing giant Uber is giving riders more control of their in-care experience with Uber Comfort which has a slew of preference options such as quiet-mode and temperature control.

For businesses to be successful in the future, they need to partner with their consumers and collaborate on the customisation journey – this will ensure that content remains relevant to their audiences.


Meet the Writer

Mildred Thabane is a seasoned communications professional with over ten years experience under her belt. She has worked for some of the world’s most exciting and innovative brands. She loves reputation management and is currently offering digital communications services across Africa.

Connect with Mildred on LinkedIn.

The Comms Avenue

The Comms Avenue

A capacity-building and networking platform for communications professionals across Africa and beyond.


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