Midjourney. Prompt: Surreal Cityscape of Personal Privacy: A futuristic cityscape, with buildings that morph into clouds and roads. In the foreground, a confident 40-year-old woman looks directly at the viewer, her gaze unwavering. She stands within a protective circle formed by vividly coloured app icons and logos of well-known digital brands.

Private Personalisation: 5 Ways Traditional Personalisation Becomes Truly, Personal

Private Personalisation: 5 Ways Traditional Personalisation Becomes Truly, Personal 769 529 StJohn Deakins

Upgrading the 5 common types of personalisation with ‘Private Personalisation’

Personalisation has been hailed as ‘the future of Marketing’ for decades now. It promises to enable businesses to develop intimate, one-to-one connections with their consumers, enhancing their experience, and driving loyalty. Over time, as technology has evolved, so too have personalisation strategies. Central to personalisation is its reliance on personal information. This has become increasingly problematic as consumers grow concerned about abuses, leading to personal data regulations ramping up while Big Tech clamps down on cookies and tracking. Therefore, we have a paradox; while people expect more and better personalisation, the human data required to provide it is becoming harder to access and risky to handle.

Recently, a new possibility has emerged: Private Personalisation. It’s a solution that encompasses personal data stores, zero party data, and personal AI. 

The powerful combination of these three elements can effectively address the challenges of traditional varieties of personalisation, most commonly used today. These are ‘Privately Personal’: segmentation-based, behavioural, contextual, collaborative, and journey-based personalisation.

The Core of Private Personalisation

Before diving more deeply into how Private personalisation addresses these five classic types of personalisation, it’s crucial to understand its components:

  • Personal Data Stores (PDS): These are secure digital spaces where consumers can store, manage, and share their personal data. The individual maintains control, giving them the power to share what they choose with whom they choose. Ideally the data is stored in the individual’s own domain, such as on their own smartphone and in a private ‘personal cloud’.
  • Zero Party Data: This is information that a consumer willingly and proactively shares with a brand. Unlike first-party data collected from behaviour or interactions, zero party data comes directly from the consumer. Until now this has been limited to surveys, feedback forms, or preference settings. Now, in combination with an individuals Personal Data Store, it flows powerfully and directly from an individual’s own vault of 360º life data. Their digital wallet provides proofs and receipts. This enables digital participation through private sharing, in real time and with full consent.
  • Personal AI: Personal AI involves using machine learning algorithms to learn individual preferences, behaviours, and needs. It’s AI that is personalised to the individual, which can then be used to curate highly personalised experiences. True, private, personal AI requires the algorithm to be deployed locally with an individual’s personal data (rather than forcing all the sensitive, vulnerable and fragile human life data to travel to the AI).

Private Personalisation is a catalyst that upgrades traditional methods of personalisation. 

1. Empowering Segmentation-Based personalisation

Private personalisation can enhance segmentation-based personalisation by offering more accurate data points. Traditional segmentation is based on self-reported answers to survey ‘golden questions’ and narrow behaviours. As users share information through personal data stores and zero party data, marketers gain a more precise understanding of their customers, allowing them to create more effective, dynamic and well targeted segments. These may even be extended to form contextual segments, changing based on the in-the-moment need state of the customer.

2. Reinventing Behavioural personalisation

Through the lens of Private Personalisation, behavioural personalisation evolves into a more transparent and consumer-friendly process. Personal AI can learn from consumer behaviour in real-time, while personal data stores and zero party data provide context and depth, offering a holistic view of each customer’s preferences, behaviours, and needs.

3. Contextual personalisation with an Edge

Private Personalisation provides a deeper layer of context. Alongside device type or location, personal AI can factor in individual preferences and real-time behaviour to provide relevant content, products, or services, while on device zero party data ensures that the context is updated with the most recent customer insights.

4. Revolutionising Collaborative personalisation

The integration of Private Personalisation in a collaborative context means businesses can provide “customers who bought this also bought…” recommendations, but with an added layer of individual specificity. The predictions are based not just on what similar customers did, but on the particular customer’s shared preferences or behaviours, in context.

5. Journey-Based personalisation Reimagined

Finally, journey-based personalisation can be greatly improved by personal AI, as it can continuously learn and adapt to the evolving customer journey. Personal data stores with owned zero party data, on the other hand, ensure that customer insights used to personalise the journey are always updated and accurate.

With its emphasis on transparency, customer control, and individualised insights, Private Personalisation marks a new era in customer engagement. It promises not just to improve but to revolutionise the existing types of personalisation. It provides businesses with an advanced tool to better serve their customers, and granting customers the control they desire over their personal data. As we move further into the digital age, it is becoming clear that Private Personalisation is the future of customer engagement. It will finally unlock the potential of hyper-personalisation and micro-personalisation creating better outcomes for customers and the businesses that successfully serve them.

The CitizenMe platform is a modular platform that combines Personal Data Stores, Zero Party Data and Personal AI in an advanced Human Data ecosystem that augments a businesses existing customer data stack.


StJohn Deakins

StJohn founded CitizenMe with the aim to take on the biggest challenge in the Information Age: helping digital citizens gain control of their digital identity. Personal data has meaning and value to everyone, but there is an absence of digital tools to help people realise its value. With CitizenMe, StJohn aims to fix that. With a depth of experience digitising and mobilising businesses, StJohn aims for positive change in the personal information economy. Oh… and he loves liquorice.

All stories by: StJohn Deakins