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Keys To Personalization

Posted by Tim Wheeler on July 31, 2018

With the increasing number of messages people are receiving today, from online to offline, the importance of delivering a message that resonates with the user has never been more important. Creating a personalized message that creates a connection is critical, and with the increasing amount of data available to marketers, personalization options have only expanded. Personalization needs to be incorporated into all marketing, shopping and service experiences. In many of his presentations on personalization, Ron Jacobs has referenced the 4 R’s of personalization from Accenture, and discussed how they are key ingredients in connecting with prospects and customers. The 4R’s are Recognize, Recommend, Remember and Relevance, and all play important roles in curating experiences to each individual in a seamless manner across channels.

Here we will look at the 4 key components of personalization and how they can be used to better connect with customers.


Online customers expect to be recognized when they arrive in the same way they are at their favorite offline businesses. Think about the experience you may have had at the local sandwich shop around the corner from your office where you regularly have lunch. After a while they may have started to greet you by name when you arrived. A business like this has created a real one-to-one connection and an enjoyable experience. With more than enough data as well as technology available today, marketers can create this same experience for customers online.


Once customers are recognized, they then want their preferences and history remembered as well. 65% of consumers are more likely to shop at a retail store (online or in person) that knows their purchase history. Going back to the local sandwich shop: after they greet you by name they may ask you if you are going to get the turkey sandwich with no mayo and extra tomatoes, or maybe they’ll mention that last time you added a cookie with it that you enjoyed. Being able to remember a customer’s order adds value to their experience as well as making them feel that they are valued as a customer.


To personalize the experience even further, customers want businesses to take the data they remember about them to recommend other things they may be interested in. Customers expect the business to know them better than they know themselves by paying close attention to their unique preferences and making recommendations to them. The sandwich shop employee may have noticed that many customers who have been ordering the turkey sandwich have decided to start adding bacon to it, so the next time you visit, the employee might ask you if you wanted to add bacon to your sandwich as it has been getting very popular among turkey sandwich buyers. Giving the customer an additional option, based on what they normally purchase, provides them a more enjoyable experience without them having to discover it on their own.


Once businesses are able to recognize and remember specific customers, what they recommend needs to be relevant and personalized to the customer. Relevance is a key factor in personalization and businesses need to go beyond basic demographic information to make the message truly relevant. Perhaps in the sandwich shop visit you were in a discussion with the employee and mentioned that you wanted to start eating healthier moving forward. The next time you are in, the employee may mention that they also have a low carb bread option that you may want to try. Providing timely and relevant recommendations is critical to personalization and truly connecting with customers at a one-to-one level.

Incorporating this framework seems much easier to do when it is one person and in person, but with marketing technology today, marketers can create this same personal experience, online or with direct mail, at scale. It is critical to start by building a well-thought-out process, to ensure every touch point is delivered as expected. If you are looking into scaling your personalization strategy, let J&C know.

Topics: digital marketing communications, Digital Marketing Trends, personalization, data marketing

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