Several excellent points were made by Tim Waters last week, posting on the Forrester Blog For Information and Knowledge Management Professionals under the heading Is Web Personalization Now A Matter Of “Thurvival”?
Of course, Thurvival is a word made up by Tim himself, who freely admits that it sounds like something Daffy Duck would say, but Tim’s definition is far from daft: Thurvival = Survival during the downturn + Ability to thrive afterward. As a strategy, thurvival has been pursued effectively during previous downturns. Time and again we have seen that companies who continue to invest in innovation during lean times can came back quicker on the upswing than their counterparts who just put everything on hold. Here’s how Tim applies the concept to investment in personalization during the current financial crisis:
“…it’s very unlikely that [the crisis] will somehow make consumers less demanding, less fickle, and less likely to favor Web sites that, as my colleagues in Marketing and Strategy say, are not only usable but desirable. On the contrary, Psychology 101 suggests that consumers will become even more invested in Web experiences that are engaging, relevant, entertaining, and that allow them to accomplish their goals without (additional) frustration. Don’t expect them to sympathize with a decision to delay improvements to the Web channel.”
That description certainly fits most consumers we know. And so we have to agree with Tim’s assertion that: “now is the time to make selective, small scale investments in personalization tools and skills.” Apart from any immediate benefits you might get from such investments, like increased conversions, there are the longer term strategic benefits of “building up a knowledge base, intellectual capital, and competitive advantages that will be extremely valuable later.”