Episode 2: Personalized Marketing

    Envision the time when your best friend’s birthday is approaching, and you need a birthday present for them. While looking through sites like Amazon, we often find ourselves glancing through numerous varied recommendations catered to our preferences. Whilst listening to music on Spotify, we recurrently come across new weekly playlists curated for us, consisting of tracks suited to our music taste. A lot of times, we discern that these sites and applications are better than us at suggesting things we’d like. This is personalized marketing. Crafting messages for individual customers by using computer software and building consumer-centric recommendation engines, makes personalized marketing a significant form of targeted marketing. By offering consumers products they already want, businesses are far more likely to increase their sales. 

    Major companies are incorporating personalization into their marketing campaigns, with Internet-based companies leading the way. When we access any website, we are asked for permission to allow ‘cookies’. Have you ever wondered what they are? Cookies store our login state, our preferences on websites, and allow these websites to personalize the content we see. With the data procured from these tracking cookies, the website is able to customize the content as per our preferences and offer products we’d be more interested in. Theoretically, personalized marketing should be effective with every consumer. However, the capability to customize depends on the data the customer is willing to share. Consequently, personalized marketing is most effective with consumers who are inclined to trade an iota of their privacy in exchange for a personalized experience. 

    Starbucks keeps its customers engaged with their vibrant mobile app. Their reward system along with the ability to customize and order drinks through the app is a perfect combination of personalization. It uses information like purchase history and location to ensure the consumer experience is as tailored to their needs as it can possibly be. A very popular and acclaimed streaming service, Netflix, also uses an algorithm that is constantly being developed and ameliorated. Based on what the subscribers browse through from the product catalog, it entices viewers to watch content from its famous viewing recommendations. 

    Starbucks iOS App

    Recently, Air New Zealand relaunched ‘Mystery Break’ travel packages for their adventurous and daring passengers, which were discontinued due to the pandemic. Travelers will have to pay a flat fee to the airline to book a surprise getaway as they would get to know their destination only two days prior to departure, wherein the airline will book their entire vacation, flights, accommodation, the whole enchilada. This step has been taken to boost its local tourism as the airline only flies to twenty domestic destinations. The customers are asked to select a package amongst Great, Deluxe, or Luxury, select a date and nominate one place where they would not like to go. 

    Research shows that personalized email campaigns receive 29 percent higher email open rates and 41 percent higher click-through rates than ordinary emails. The primary asset of personalized marketing is that it equips companies to reach specific audiences effectively. It also helps you think out-of-the-box and create unique content that leaves a distinctive memory for customers. This also aids in the process of constructing deeper relationships with customers. Coca-Cola launched it’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign which consisted of printing common names on Coke bottles to attract more sales. Furthermore, personalization assists in helping retail sites like Amazon make better recommendations. 

    One of the dominant goals of personalization is to let customers know that the company is paying them attention. But, it is quintessential that companies strike the perfect balance between making their customers feel heard, instead of being borderline creepy as if they are watching them, taking undue advantage of their privacy. It is of elemental importance for a marketer to step into the shoes of the customer and ask themselves, “Is this alluring?” Or is it just eerily unpleasant?” If the answer is the former, perfect. If it leans towards the latter, try something different.

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