Mass campaigns, and even personalized campaigns that group customers by persona or segment, are no longer hitting the mark, Bilal Jaffery wrote in the Deloitte report Connecting With Meaning.
"It’s more important than ever to spend budgets wisely, optimizing your marketing approach to target customers with relevant and contextualized offers,” Jaffery added. “Responding to changing consumer perceptions and market conditions requires an ability to leverage customer data at the most granular level.”
It’s critical that companies enable hyper-personalization across ecommerce, marketing automation and customer engagement platforms to provide context to every interaction, Jaffery said.
Below are four ways companies currently use hyper-personalization.
1. Personalizing Existing Content Library
Most retailers build mass promotions based on deals they work out with vendors, said Shekar Raman, Birdzi CEO and co-founder.
“This content can then be sorted by relevance to each shopper when they interact via app, web or other digital channels,” explained Raman. “This approach makes for a much better experience for the shopper by making it easier to identify promotions that they are likely to be interested in and de-emphasizing promotions on products that have little relevance to them. The result is improved engagement rates on digital channels.”
For example, a retailer that sends out emails about their mass weekly promotions gets an open rate of about 20%, according to Raman, whereas emails that contain only the most relevant items chosen from the weekly promotion list have an open rate of 30% or higher.
This methodology imposes no limits on the size of the offer library and hence is true one-to-one personalization, Raman said.
Related Article: Content Marketing: Develop Your Omnichannel Strategy in 9 Easy Steps
2. Developing Strategic Personalization
“The journey starts with understanding each shopper’s journey and purchase behavior,” said Raman. “An expert algorithmic system then designs promotions for each shopper that maximizes key metrics like spend, trips and breadth of shop. This results in a truly one-to-one promotion.”
While this approach is more expansive in terms of the items available for promotion, it also has the advantage of catering to each shopper individually, Raman explained, adding that a couple of retailers that have employed this strategy have seen a 16.6% lift in spend per shopper, 23.6% lift in trips per shopper and 38.2% lift in categories shopped.
In a study from Harvard Business Review, sponsor Mastercard said: ”When executed effectively, strategic personalization initiatives, from personalized product offerings and recommendations to dynamic pricing and personalized webpages, [and] can drive significant revenue impact.
“They also tap into the power of customer-centricity, helping foster greater customer loyalty and retention. Such tactics add value for both the brand and the customer by delivering the most relevant offers and experiences to the right customer segments.”
3. Subjective Intelligence
Shari Hofer, Wiley CMO, said that as part of Wiley’s recent marketing transformation, they have prioritized hyper-personalization to ensure they’re reaching customers in the ways they want to be reached.
"This shift began during Covid when we evaluated our approach through a critical lens and sought new ways to engage our audience effectively,” said Hofer, “even if that meant making significant changes to how we go to market.”
All of Wiley’s personas and once-reliable tactics are being questioned and refreshed, Hofer said. “We have improved our personalization capabilities through use of audience insights and the latest marketing technology stack. This stack brings together the ability for us to hyper-personalize content and campaigns from both known and unknown customers.” While still at the start of this transition, Hofer said the company is already seeing significant progress.
One example of how Wiley made a change? Company research showed that some of the audience they were attempting to reach preferred consuming short-form videos. So the company shifted its approach to include newer channels, such as TikTok.
“This marked a big shift for our 215-year-old company, as we had used more traditional channels previously,” Hofer said.
“TikTok outperformed our expectations, delivering higher than anticipated click-through rates. Meanwhile, Pinterest creative and placement delivered the highest CTR across all the media channels and exceeded industry standards. While we continue to refine our approach, we will continue to experiment on these channels.”
Related Article: Enhancing Your One-to-One Personalization Efforts
4. Use Predictive Personalization
In today’s retail environment, consumers make purchase decisions based on product reviews, specifications and detailed descriptions online as much as (or more than) they do with physically interacting with the product itself, Sharad Varshney, CEO of OvalEdge, told CMSWire.
He added that, with machine learning to analyze past searches, buying patterns and demographic details, companies can target personalized content to individual shoppers.
“When displaying a product description to the potential shopper, product content can be adapted to match demographic and psychographic understanding in terms of language and culture, the nuancing of which will greatly enhance the level of personalization and the ultimate experience of the shopper.”
This method of hyper-personalization, Varshney added, fundamentally changes the entire paradigm of content curation for retailers and merchandising teams who historically have commissioned survey after survey and deployed significant manual effort to understand how to target potential shoppers for their products.
Today’s consumers don’t want to be part of an audience segment or mass list. They want to be marketed to on an individual level. With hyper-personalization powered by the latest tech, it’s possible for brands to make that happen, and those already taking the lead are seeing significant results.