In-depth education in communication provides versatile, in-demand skills to people entering the job market or advancing their careers. The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Communication degree program combines the study of communication theory, practice and modern, professional applications.
Among the most relevant facets of communications study is personalization. Content that consumers resonate with is the new norm for modern business, enriching the customer experience, business-to-business relations and the employee experience. These are often determining factors in a modern business' continuity, growth and success.
How Is Personalization Defined?
Gartner describes personalization as "a process that creates a relevant, individualized interaction between two parties designed to enhance the experience of the recipient."
Salesforce provides a contextual definition of personalization as related to business: "Personalization is the act of tailoring an experience or communication based on information a company has learned about an individual."
These definitions highlight the connection between personalization and communication and how the two actively affect consumer behavior for businesses.
How Is Communication Becoming Personalized in Modern Business?
Massive communication campaigns in public relations, marketing and politics have traditionally relied on generalized communication like mass emails, billboards and TV commercials. In these impersonal communications, all recipients receive the same message.
Companies can target such communication efforts through demographic-based placement, email lists and more, but generalized messaging falls short in tailoring content to the interests, values, needs and buying habits of individuals.
Advancements in technology have exponentially increased the ease with which businesses can gather and analyze data on individual customers and prospects. Such improvements in data analytics capabilities have made tailoring interactions to consumers both efficient and inexpensive.
The proliferation of digital communication channels (social media platforms, messaging apps, video marketing, chat boxes, etc.) also allows for more personalized communication. Businesses can use these channels to connect with customers in their preferred environment. Data analytics and advanced algorithms further help businesses tailor content to individuals and messaging to target audiences and individuals in the digital realm.
Taken together, these and other technological advancements have facilitated personalized communication on a scale that was once achievable only through generalized mass communications.
Why Is Personalized Communication Important?
Simply put, consumers have come to expect personalized communication in all interactions, as they often need a reason to pay attention to a brand or material. Personalized communication is essential for customer engagement and retention, fostering brand loyalty and word-of-mouth brand exposure. In fact, in a survey of companies conducted by Ascend2, 70% of respondents named "personalizing the customer experience" as their top priority.
In addition to customers, employees and business partners also expect a more customized experience. Thus, personalizing all communications — internal and external — can improve the employee experience (and retention), beneficial partnerships, customer relations and sales.
The overarching effort to personalize communication and experiences also bridges teams and industries, from video streaming to software design, manufacturing to logistics. Companies strive to connect with their customers in authentic ways, creating content, products and services tailored to individual interests. All of this relies on personalized communication, whether through technology or organically.
How Do I Personalize Content and Communication?
The technologies and tools that drive personalization in modern business communication are invaluable. Learning the ins and outs of using these tools to connect target audiences with personalized content and messaging is essential. Yet, these technologies simply facilitate targeted, personalized communication on a large scale. To take advantage of them, professionals must understand what makes good communication in the first place.
In UHV's online B.S. in Communication program, students examine communication at the granular and practical levels. From grammar and rhetoric to communication theory, students develop a comprehensive understanding of the underpinnings of effective communication.
Through further studies, students learn how to construct persuasive messaging tailored to the medium and recipient. Students also study professional writing, public speaking, new media and communication in organizational and intercultural contexts. The comprehensive skills gained through these studies help professionals adapt content and personalize messaging through any medium.
Industries like public relations, marketing and customer relations highly value the capabilities emphasized in UHV's program. In GMAC's 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey, employers ranked four communication skills (oral, written, listening and presentation) among the top five skills they value most in potential new hires.
Clearly, developing expertise in communication of all forms can boost the modern worker's job prospects. Plus, integrating personalization with technology-enriched messaging and content can help today's professionals excel in their communication career of choice.
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