4 Brands that Took Personalized Marketing to the Next Level

Brands world-wide are ablaze with the virtues of marketing personalization and its ability to improve customer experience, drive revenue, increase brand loyalty, and create consistency across channels. In fact, 94% of senior-level executives believe delivering personalization is critical or important to reaching customers according to a recent study conducted by PWC’s Digital Services group.

Savvy brands are scrambling to incorporate an ever-stronger personalization focus to their marketing strategy, but there are a few specific brands out there who have nailed the concept almost flawlessly – personalization Gods among men, as it were.

Here are 4 brands that took personalized marketing to the next level.

1. Coca-Cola’s phenomenal Share a Coke campaign

In 2011, Coca Cola launched its “Share a Coke” campaign in Australia in a move many have called a ‘stroke of marketing genius’. In a bid to appeal to key millennial demographics, Coca Cola launched the mother of all personalization campaigns by producing personalized Coke bottles adorned with 250 of the most popular names of millennials and popular terminology used by this demographic including ‘Bestie’ and ‘Wingman’. After seeing a massive 7% increase in Coke consumption despite a dwindling soda industry on the wrong side of the millennial health and fitness fad, Coca-Cola decided to roll out the campaign in the US in 2014 in a move that ultimately saw a 2.5% increase in total sales.

Social media was crucial in the success of the campaign with Coke encouraging customers who found their name on the bottle to share pictures using the #ShareaCoke hashtag. This prompted a user-generated brand awareness initiative throughout social media platforms. Beyond customized bottles, Coke also created interactive billboards and websites as well as traveling kiosks where people could get more unique named Coke products.

After initially being phased out, the campaign has been revamped and reintroduced, this year with personalized bottles featuring names of the world’s top holiday destinations meant to evoke feelings and memories of refreshment on a hot summer day: Miami, Ibiza and Hawaii to name but a few.

Coca Cola’s marketing team threw all their weight behind the power of personalization, and it paid off in a major way. The success of the campaign taught marketers worldwide that people love personalized products  – especially when they are unexpected. For a mega-brand like Coca Cola to take the effort to print individual names on bottles made customers feel valued and sparked an organic social media campaign that eventually led to  increased sales volume in the US for the first time in roughly four years. 

2. Memories of a shared history – easyJet’s personal travel story campaign

To mark its 20th anniversary, low-cost airline easyJet launched a highly personalized campaign that engaged customers emotionally by showcasing their individual travel experiences with the airline and capturing their imagination by suggesting places they could next travel, based on personal experiences and interests.

Alongside a TV ad campaign showing one family’s journey, the easyJet team made their customers feel part of the airline’s history through personalized e-mails.  With a strong focus on personalized copy and eye-catching visuals, they crafted a complex series of customizable e-mail models based on a wide range of collated customer data that together spun tales of travelling with EasyJet that were unique to each customer.

The social media tranche of the campaign was also crucial to the campaign’s success.  The social media team invited customers to share their favorite holiday photos on an easyJet trip using the #timeflies hashtag to print on a plane as part of a giant memory mosaic and this sparked an organic, customer-driven snowball effect. The response was phenomenal, reaching over of 680,000 people and gaining more than 1.1 million impressions.

But the effort that went into this complex campaign paid off, with the airline seeing open rates over 100% higher than their average newsletter and 25% higher click-through rates.

Globally, over 7% of easyJet customers who received the personalized campaign made a booking within 30 days.

The campaign was expertly crafted to instill a sense of nostalgia and remind the audience of their favourite trips and the role easyJet played in them, as well as to ensure easyJet would be the first pick for customers’ next vacation.

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3. Personalized Video reaps sweet rewards for Cadbury

Cadbury, one of the largest confectionary brands in the world is well-renowned for their fun and novel approaches to marketing (anyone else suddenly humming Phil Collins’ “In the air tonight” right about now?).

Recognizing the unprecedented effectiveness of personalized video in connecting customers emotionally with brands, last year Cadbury launched a personalized video campaign targeted at the Australian market and designed to promote its new line of flavors in its Dairy Milk range.

For the campaign, Cadbury launched a “Flavor Matcher” app which leveraged data-driven personal profiling to match users with one of 12 different flavors. Users then received personalized videos celebrating their Flavor Match that integrated their Facebook profile photo and were encouraged to share the video with a hashtag created for the campaign.

The campaign resonated deeply with customers’ sense of fun and appreciation for novelty – both of which have become synonymous with the Cadbury brand. Combining the compelling nature of video with creative and quirky personalization captivated viewers, with 90% watching their Personalized Video to completion and 12.23% sharing their video on social media. The brand also achieved a 65% Click Through Rate with campaign recipients and a 33% conversion rate of viewers who completed a subsequent promotion form.

Cadbury did a great job showing that even in industries that are traditionally light on customer data, it is possible to deliver personal and engaging experiences that wow customers.

4. Runway video marketing success at Nike

Another excellent example of hyper-personalized video marketing comes courtesy of sportswear giant Nike and their year-end “Your Year” campaign.

In a bid to appeal directly to its biggest fans and most social users of their apps, the brand dug deep into the data accumulated through use of its exercise-tracking products such as the Nike Fuelband and Nike+ Running app which consistently track users’ performance.

Together with its digital agency AKQA, Nike then used the data to craft construct supremely detailed personalized animated videos – over 100,000 of them in fact. The animated videos captured individual’s athletic achievements of the year and formed the crux of a major campaign that encouraged people to “Outdo You”.

The personalized detail in the videos is truly impressive, factoring in the geographic location of where people worked out and associated landmarks and local weather.

At the beginning of the new year, a time associated with renewed resolve and dedication, the Nike team sent the personalized videos to every single one of their active Nike+ users, as well as widely disseminating a more generic version of the video across its social media platforms.

The dedicated community of Nike+ members went online en masse to share their opinions – and pledge to achieve the goals identified by their data.

Implementing personalized marketing campaigns can seem complex and daunting, but when done right it doesn’t have to be. And the rewards for hitting a home run are endless: Customer satisfaction to the point of turning customers into ambassadors, unparalleled engagement and a wow factor that is impossible to quantify.

If you found this useful and you’d like to learn how to take advantage of the latest trends in a fast-paced and ever-evolving marketing landscape, we invite you to download a copy of our “How to stay ahead of the game in the marketing industry” guide for CMOs.

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Julia Graham

Julia Graham is an experienced writer and contributor to numerous publications , focusing mainly on marketing, hi-tech and development. Passionate about creative marketing solutions, she hopes to spark discussions, share ideas and inspire others in this dynamic space.

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