If you type “what is Personalized Marketing” in your Google search bar, you get over 100 million results. Overwhelming. Thousands of definitions are flourishing and the least we can say is that there is no consistency. So, what if, as a start, we’d try to define what it is not? Just to be sure that there is no misconception.

We can categorize the misconceptions in different categories such as:

  • Reusing classic CRM techniques but flagging them with the term “personalized”;
  • Customizing a variable of the message;
  • Working at a one-to-few level only (instead of one-to-one) using segmentation and / or typology strategies.

In more detail, we can say that Personalized Marketing is not:

  • Creating emails workflows based on triggers, either transactional (website visit, app opening, online or in-store purchase etc.) or related to customers life events (relocation, birthday, birth of a child etc.). These are drip campaigns.
  • Addressing the customer by name in an email or a text. This is field tagging.
  • Personifying the robot at the origin of an automated email, by giving it a name or a face. This is pretending to put a human face on communication.
  • Reminding a customer of the balance on his loyalty card or his latest purchases. This is also field tagging.
  • Using a chatbot. This is pretending to put a human face on communication, and trying to save money on call centers;
  • Selecting the right individuals for a campaign. This is predictive segmentation/targeting
  • Selecting the right products to promote. This is product recommendation.
  • Selecting the right incentive. This is dynamic discounting.

A true holistic approach to reach customers in their uniqueness

We are not saying that the strategies listed above are not useful. They are! In a certain proportion. But they surely cannot stand for a true Personalized Marketing approach if they are taken independently. And honestly, none will lead to any substantial performance gain. It may allow you to get slightly better, but it will not reveal the true power Marketing can have over success of a company.

To become a true breakthrough, Personalized Marketing must be seen as a whole, with a holistic approach based on multi-variable optimization. Then the benefits become undeniable. You will:

  • Boost your Marketing campaigns performance, smartly manage Marketing fatigue and improve all your KPIs (customer retention, revenue per customer, customer lifetime value, RFM…).
  • Stop burning your customers base with unwanted messages and reduce churn.
  • Improve your Customer Experience and become truly customer-centric.
  • Empower your Marketing teams.
  • Protect your brand by projecting understanding and thoughtfulness toward your customers, increasing its perceived value instead of diminishing it like all other aggressive marketing vectors. Remember that according to the 2017 ranking of Meaningful Brands established by Havas, 74% of Brands could disappear without anybody caring.
  • Differentiate yourself from the competition by becoming more mindful. Design marketing campaigns with a real meaning, always having your customers’ benefits in mind. Indeed, Marketing is about giving something to someone and not about taking something from them (their time, their attention…).