Personalization has been an agenda item for marketers for years, but it’s not easy to achieve. Sure, you can build personas and create marketing campaigns for them. But, as appealing as “Marketer Mark” and “Social Sally” can be in planning meetings, they’re still far too broad to effectively represent an individual’s journey.
We’re reaching a point where personalization at the individual level is the only way to resonate with an audience, whether that means a unique offer, a unique experience or a unique message.
Personalization can be demonstrating in a wide variety of ways limited only by marketer’s imagination. When developing your strategy for implementing personalization for your clients remember theses tips:
Here are some examples of successful Personalization products:
Smart Furniture designed a clever online tool to identify and categorize shoppers’ personal furniture styles. The retailer then dynamically suggests and highlights products individual to each shopper and offers a visualization feature to lay out the products in a customer’s own space.
Redbox tailors homepage content for first-time or repeat visitors and suggests new products based on previous rentals or favorite categories. The rental service even offers streaming options when a particular video isn’t available nearby, as well as online reservations so customers simply insert their credit card at the kiosk to obtain a previously reserved item.
Online shopping services Stitch Fix and Le Tote offer curated selections of clothing to purchase or rent (think Netflix NFLX +2.54% for fashion) and refine recommendations over time based on members’ individual budgets and tastes. Personal stylists provide recommendations that are further refined by machine algorithms to deliver a truly customized service. Stitch Fix also works to create a tailored offline experience for every customer. A beautifully wrapped box arrives with a stylist’s hand-written note describing why each item was selected—continuing the same brand experience the customer first encountered online.
It’s clear consumers are increasingly demanding more personalized and customized service in the digital as well as physical worlds. A mobile-optimized website or salesperson wielding an iPad are table stakes now, and as marketers we need to anticipate expectations with new ideas and inspirations of our own.
Here, we can all take inspiration from the great Walt Disney, who famously said, “if you can dream it, you can do it.” After suffering several setbacks early in his career, he created some of the world’s most iconic animated characters and stories, not to mention a theme park and business empire. Not only was he a pioneer in animated film (akin to the digital world of his time), but he brought these magical experiences to life in the physical world, too.
By infusing that same drive, perseverance and creativity—as well as a touch of the latest technology—into our own marketing and personalization strategies, we can create the change that’s tantalizingly at our fingertips.