Thursday, 20 March 2014

Personalised marketing - clever or creepy?

I have been working in marketing long enough to remember the first time I got a bulk email drop in my in-box with my actual name on it rather than “Dear customer”. Over the years personalisation in marketing has become something that is deemed standard. In fact, if you receive any form of marketing communication that is not highly personalised they are the ones that are binned electronically or physically first.

Product personalisation is the next evolution of this trend. Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign is the best known example of this. It was actually dreamed up by Coca Cola’s Australian marketing team in 2011 thinking about ways to re-connect with its customers. Although they couldn’t personalise each individual Coke bottle, they realised they could replace the Coke logo on it with a range of common Christian names. This drove a 4% sales uplift and the campaign has been rolling out worldwide ever since with the labels printed with the 150 most popular Christian names in each territory. It was launched in the UK this summer to great success both in sales and brand engagement.

Another great example of a brand being creative with personalisation comes from the household favourite Heinz. In America they have a website where anyone in the US (they don’t do this internationally unfortunately) can order personalised bottles of tomato ketchup or mustard with your own words and even photos, delivered to your door.

The UK division took this concept and created a social campaign where Facebook fans could send personalised “Get Well Soon” cans of Heinz Chicken or Tomato soup in a gift box for the princely sum of just £1.99. In the first phase of launch they sent out 4,000 cans and have since made it a regular winter social media promotion.

Consumers love personalisation, anything from having your name written on your Starbucks coffee cup to bigger concepts like the Heinz or Coke campaigns. Although you think it might be impossible for your own company, it might just take some creative thought to come up with an idea that will really help you engage with your customers.  

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