How does data help personalization?

Personalization is everywhere and thanks to data. In this article, we will present you some cases in your daily life where personalization is presented to you. 

Google Maps 

Looking for a restaurant? Google Maps will suggest the restaurants you are most familiar with based on your past usage. Do you usually go to cheap Japanese restaurants when you go out? Then by changing cities, that's what Maps will suggest to you, based on your location. 

With the GPS function, if you have the habit of preferring one route over another, then it will be offered more regularly. 

Netflix and others

We talked about it more in our article dedicated to Netflix: Netflix personalizes your experience on its platform at all levels. Indeed, Netflix will propose genres that correspond to you, titles that correspond to you associated to these genres and will even propose different posters depending on the person. It is one of the first companies that has been able to offer such a high level of personalization. 

In general, entertainment platforms will offer personalization algorithms to provide you with titles based on your past behavior: 

  • For example, Deezer, Spotify and Youtube Music willsuggest tracks based on your past listening. 
  • On the audio side, platforms like Audible or Apple/Google podcasts will offer you audios based on your past listening. 
  • On the mobile applications and games side, such as the Google Play Store or the Apple Store, we will propose applications and games based on past usage and which are supposed to correspond to you.

Of course, you probably have many counterexamples to the relevance of the customizations that may have been proposed to you. But I think you may also have discovered elements that are similar to what you are used to and that may have interested you. 

Marketing: personalizing the customer experience

Marketing is a playground for personalization and is done on many levels: 

  • Most of the ads you see on the Internet are personalized to you. They are offered to you because an algorithm has determined that they are relevant to you 
  • With the help of your buying habits and data collected for example from loyalty cards or online, companies will be able to offer you personalized deals: discount, product that suits you best.
  • A customer service department using data will know the answers that have already been given and will be able to provide the most appropriate answers based on this previous context. 

The data used to make this personalization

Here is the list of data that are often used to do this type of personalization: 

  • Geolocation: the geographical position. For example, in order to propose you the right cinema to go and see the last movie or blockbuster, it will be important to know your location. 
  • Profile: Age, gender, but also income, favorite color or number of pets are all examples of profiling data used for personalization
  • Browsing history: If I have seen or bought or put in my wishlist such and such a product then I am potentially interested in this product 
  • Transactional data: If I bought such and such a product at such and such a frequency, at such and such a price and at such and such a place
  • Qualitative data: Completing a questionnaire can also be an additional source of data

To conclude, the consumer benefits from quite a lot of protection to over-personalization and what brands have the right to do or not do on this personalization. This protection is called the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and frames what data is allowed to be collected for what purpose.

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