It has become evident in recent years that today’s consumer experience is centered around the pillars of personalization and convenience. The modern customer expects that their content interactions – from beginning to end – will cater to their specific needs and preferences. Service providers must now understand their audiences on a deeper level, in turn providing them with a seamless consumer journey.
By Moizzur Rahman, VP, Media and Entertainment Sector Lead, Capgemini Americas
While certain industries have blazed the trail in this area, the media and entertainment sector is playing catch up, resulting in a distinct personalization gap when compared to others, such as social media and gaming. However, progress is being made to close that gap through committed investment in areas such as content development.
Understanding where other industries have had success can help media organizations to develop innovative ways to bolster consumer experiences through increased personalization, and the true pioneers understand how quality content is the most powerful advantage that these legacy media companies have over the newer social platforms.
Social media and gaming as case studies in personalization
Social media is a prime example of an industry that has mastered consumer personalization. Platforms understand their users and provide them with content directly curated to their interests and needs – all through algorithmic information. These algorithms analyze user behaviors, which results in wildly different experiences for each user. For example, a 20-year-old make-up artist in New York City will likely have a completely different user experience than a 55-year-old farmer in Iowa.
So, how has the social media industry been able to push so far ahead? Through the pouring of revenue into these social media channels, the technology advances to improve the development of targeted, personalized outcomes for the end user. This creates a cycle, where the personalized customer experience encourages brand loyalty, with users consistently returning to these sites and upkeeping their social media presence.
More recently, this conversation has extended to gaming as the metaverse becomes increasingly in focus. Gen Z is spending more time gaming, with 81% of this age demographic playing video games on smartphones, gaming consoles, and computers at least weekly if not daily. As the AI and VR technology in the gaming industry advances, Gen Z wants access to more engaging and realistic games. This has opened the door for incorporating entertainment and commerce into the metaverse to prepare for the future of the personalized digital realm.
While traditional media companies may not be as far along as the social and gaming industries, some are closing the gap with an increasingly popular tool up their sleeve – streaming.
Streaming: the gateway into M&E personalization
Several media organizations have made great strides in user personalization by creating streaming platforms and channels that cater to consumers’ viewing preferences. By investing in streaming, traditional media providers have begun to offer a more highly valued consumer experience, which can also be tied to the different lifestyles of viewers. If one were to analyze the prospective audience of any given streaming service, lifestyle would be a key element to consider. For example, some streaming customers may not have the time in their day to watch two-hour movies and would prefer to opt for a 30-minute show instead.
By curating streaming content that varies across different lengths and time frames, media companies can personalize the viewing experience to align with the different needs and lifestyles of their consumers – ushering in one of the core successes of streaming.
In addition to content flexibility, streaming providers have a wealth of first-party data – including viewing habits – that help them to better understand their audiences. This increased knowledge, combined with outside signals such as purchase history, mobility data, and credit reliability, can help brands determine which customers will deliver the highest return on marketing dollars.
However, streaming alone is not enough, and these companies must also be skilled at producing valuable content.
Shifting the focus to engaging content
Traditional media companies will successfully close the remaining gaps when they understand that the key to achieving relevance with consumers is creating engaging content. Audiences are drawn to the platforms that are producing the shows and films that they want to watch, and maintaining that cadence of content will keep their subscriptions active. Content is king – and legacy media companies have content libraries that are of such high-quality that they cannot be re-created, meaning that their expertise at creating content that viewers want to engage with is priceless.
While legacy companies have the leg up, streaming services have begun to catch on. Many streaming providers have started embracing legacy content for reboots, negotiating streaming deals with the original content creators to reinstall classic shows and films – such as Sex and the City, Gossip Girl and many others. This strategy capitalizes on the existing fanbase from years prior, while also appealing to the new members of the target age demographic.
Whether you are referring to news, sports, series, or film, the true value is in developing programming that viewers want to watch based on their interests and values. Media companies will close the personalization knowledge gap by sourcing talent that is able to understand the diverse viewer audience and develop content that is appealing across it.
The shift towards increased personalization is one that is already underway. By learning from the best practices of other industries, traditional media and entertainment companies will begin optimizing personalization to improve the customer journey and will continue to close the gap on social media and gaming. Media companies know their strength and advantage is in content, but to create the high-quality products that align with their audience’s interests and values, they need the tools to capture those much-needed consumer insights.
Moizzur Rahman is a Vice President and Media and Entertainment Sector Lead for Capgemini Americas. With 25 years of global consulting and technology delivery experience, Moizzur is responsible for managing Capgemini’s Media & Entertainment business across the U.S. market. He specializes in pioneering innovative technology and disruptive solutions for well-known brands to transform global businesses into frictionless digital enterprises.