EPAM, a specialist in digital platform engineering that offers digital and product design agency services and consulting, has outlined ways in which video services can be personalised so they provide a clear and perceived value-add to consumers. The company has published a White Paper that lists the strategies and specific applications that can help a media owner stand out from the crowd.
One tip is to spend more time thinking about existing consumer habits, like which app someone looks at when they first wake up and what they watch over morning coffee or when using public transport. “These micro moments are key battlegrounds in the war for being top-of-mind, and they present excellent opportunities to deliver personalised interactions,” the company suggests.
Content libraries must be structured in a way that makes them actionable, so users are exposed to the most relevant and timely content. This requires various practical steps like creating a unique profile for each user, enhancing the quality of metadata associated with each asset in the catalogue, and building the right logic to connect the profile and metadata in a meaningful way.
Device and physical context should be considered when presenting content. Is your viewer at home or on the move? How much time do they have to watch right now: do they need something quick and easily digestible or do they have time for a movie? Who do they usually watch with, and if with someone else can the preferences of the two individuals be cross-referenced? Can a social theme be identified, like date night?
The White Paper advises that video service providers should focus on making content findable, whether that means ensuring that their system can generate timestamps for a goal in football or provide more sub-categories for content genres (like ‘critically acclaimed independent dramas’ rather than just ‘drama’ or ‘independent drama’) even if these are hidden from viewers.
The paper recommends that to ensure trust in how you use data, media companies must prioritise transparency and demonstrate data-driven value early and often. “This requires CX and marketing teams to coordinate more closely with data science teams on a communications strategy, building an evolving dialogue with individual customers that demonstrates that you’ve taken their feedback with every previous interaction and made changes accordingly,” the paper says.
The authors address the conundrum of personalising experiences at an individual level while all of us remain social beings who want to connect and share experiences. The solution is building virtual social relationships around content, including fan communities where people can generate their own buzz around a series and provide what become organic, human recommendation sources.
‘Social proofing’ feeds our desire to feel ‘in the know’ about popular content, something that drives decisions over what to watch next. Social proofing mechanisms need to be built into the platform, the white paper notes.
EPAM also lists ways in which media owners can increase engagement while opening new revenue streams through value-added personalisation. “Presenting users with filming locations for a movie or series, and even integrating Airbnb options in the location, increases engagement with the film or series, while going one step deeper within the travel purchase funnel,” the authors suggest, pointing to how Game of Thrones generated interest in places like Northern Ireland.
You could dynamically generate the soundtrack to a programme as a playlist in Spotify for the user, or make it possible to add an actor’s wardrobe to someone’s online shopping basket. “You could watch a healthy cooking show, add the ingredients to a shopping cart for a grocery delivery service and then receive the recipe instructions via text on your mobile device,” EPAM offers as another example.
The paper also considers KPIs that go beyond traditional measures like churn or overall engagement time per user, drawing on practices at companies like Netflix. For instance, you can figure out your share of viewing time with a user and then cross-reference that against the shows they watch. If there are big users who only watch a single series, this indicates that the show is of high value to the service.
“Measuring time-to-player (how long it takes a user to start watching something) can offer valuable insight into the effectiveness of algorithms or the messaging around content,” the authors state, pointing to another advanced KPI.
EPAM argues that media and entertainment companies have it within their grasp to truly ‘get to know’ their customers and create a digital experience that meets their needs, negates their pain points and creates a more human touch to the digital world. This White Paper aims to explain how. You can download it by completing the form below.