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Coca Cola, Amazon, Starbucks. Here is why marketing can’t do without personalization.

In the beginning, there was Coke. Six years ago, the soda colossus from Atlanta launched a campaign that is already a classic case study: Personalized cans, which were printed with the names of people instead of the usual brand logo and product name. An idea that turned out to be as simple as it was effective, since a huge number of consumers gave free publicity to Coca-Cola by posting pictures of the product with their name on social media.

A Coca Cola Company spokesperson stated that “this campaign taught us that personalization can only be highly engaging and effective if it can be shared with a wide audience. It not only motivates the customer to share but also provides them the platform to explore their creative side through customization.”

Theory is important, but numbers are even more critical. And they don’t lie–during the campaign, Coca Cola rapidly increased its sales worldwide.

Consumers want to be treated as people. It might sound obvious, but too often marketers forget about that.

Salesforce insights reveal how companies that leverage personalization within their marketing strategies obtain performances that are 51% better that those who do not. In addition, and even more importantly, 80% of consumers believe that a personalized experience represents added value to their relationship with brands (source: Epsilon).

So, how can personalization be exploited for your business? Here are five examples of successful marketing executions based on personalized content.


1. Amazon’s secret algorithm

The algorithm behind Amazon’s search is one of the most well-kept secrets out there. And for good reason: it’s one of the keys of the company’s astonishing success. The algorithm is based on personalization, meant to deliver a product selection for each of its consumers. In fact, by crossing a huge volume of data, Amazon is able to identify with a reasonable certainty which products could be of interest to us.

My Amazon homepage will always look different from yours, and will always become better and better at understanding who we are and what we want (we leave it up to you to say if it’s more scary, cool, or both). It’s no secret that this mysterious algorithm is one of the main reasons for Amazon’s unstoppable growth.


2. Personalization and charity: Marie Curie 

Marie Curie is a British NGO active since 1948 and committed to helping terminal ill patients. The organization uses the power of personalization for its noble ends – to raise funds, more specifically.

The NGO’s latest campaign, The Great Daffodil Appeal, leverages on geolocalized data to collect information on donors. The data is then used to build a real-time personalized map, which also integrates tailored communications specific to each user. Consequently, the number of subscriptions as well as the amount of raised funds have skyrocketed.


3. Cadbury’s chocolate

Cadbury, the second biggest sweets company in the world, decided to follow the trend created by Facebook around personalized videos. While Facebook gives its users a personalized video recap of their life on social media, Cadbury created videos focused on each consumer’s taste in terms of chocolate. A very simple idea, true. But it led to a 65% click-through rate, and a 33.6% conversion rate.

Even when it comes to simple, fun and unassuming content, personalization can hit a sweet spot.


4. Coffee and App: Starbucks

The globally-renown American coffee chain has launched an app that not only allows its customers to pay for coffee in a personalized way, but enables a series of parallel gaming functionalities that build a tailored and fun user experience.

The introduction of the rewards system saw Starbucks’ revenue soar to $2.56 billion, while the app has generated around 6 million sales per month (around 22% of all U.S. sales).


5. Fly and personalize: easyJet

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the British low-cost airline company easyJet has sent all its customers a personalized email containing individual stories based on where they first travelled and where they might like to go next, including personalized travel suggestions.

The results? Over 12 million e-mail messages were sent, and in comparison with the average easyJet DEM campaign, they were opened by receivers 100% more with a click-through rate that was over 25%.

But personalization is not only a powerful weapon for multinational corporations. Even your neighborhood’s baker, if they’re a good one, knows your taste and habits, and they’ll make sure to keep aside your favorite bun. And that is pure personalization. It’s up to you, now, to find the right formula for your specific business.

If you want to find out more about the power of personalization in marketing, take a look here.



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