The risk with personalisation right now is ‘doing it too well and being creepy’

Head of product for Nine’s BVOD service 9Now, Lewis Evans said right now one of the risks associated with personalisation can come in the pursuit of ‘perfect personalisation’.

The comments were made at yesterday’s Mumbrella Sports and Entertainment Marketing Summit, in a panel moderated by deputy managing editor Andrew Banks entitled ‘Getting Personal With Fan Engagement And Experiences’, featuring Evans, alongside CEO and co-founder of Livewire, Indy Khabra, and general manager, marketing and comms for Cricket NSW, Marita Forss.

L-R: Khabra, Forss, Evans, Banks

Closing the session, the panel was asked what limitations and risks are associated with brands pushing personalisation right now.

“I think there are two risks for us: doing it too well, and being creepy,” said Evans. “We’re competing in a market where hyper-personalisation is being noticed time and time again, and you also have the manufacturers of hardware trying to make a stand against it.”

“So there is kind of going over-kill in the pursuit of perfect personalisation.”

“Then the counter is pretending to personalise without actually doing anything close, and that was the comment I was making before around trying to create an experience that is personal, but really it is the same for everyone.”

Evans now is leading Nine’s product development for its 9Now platform

“People see right through that.”

Evans joined Nine as its head of product for 9Now last year from SBS, where he was similarly head of product and UX for SBS on Demand.

This week, the AFR reported TV lobby group Free TV called for a mandatory code to require TV manufacturers to make FTA platforms and services easily discoverable on connected and smart TVs.

On Wednesday, at the industry event ‘The Future of TV Advertising’, a panel discussion entitled ‘Television’s role in the digital customer journey’ saw Uber Eats APAC head of marketing, Lucinda Barlow publicly criticise Nine’s existing online product, suggesting the network has intentionally made the product “shit” to keep its linear channels alive.

The comments sparked laughter and amusement from the audience and panel, which also featured Nine’s director of Powered, Liana Dubois.

The ‘Television’s role in the digital customer journey’ panel on stage

“I felt as a sort of conspiracy theorist advertiser, ‘oh, my God, Channel Nine is actually throttling this experience to make it so shit so that they’re keeping free to air as long as possible. That is what goes through my mind,” said Barlow.

At the same event, SBS on Demand general manager, Matthew Hancock featured on an event alongside head of advertiser partnerships at Samsung Ads, Luke Carmichael to speak about the hot issue of prominence in a session entitled ‘Discoverability: TV’s new battleground.’


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