The Art of the Personalized Consumer Experience

When the field of marketing evolves, it represents a response to changing consumer behavior or preferences. Today, we’re seeing one of those changes.

Rather than the broad-sweeping, impersonal ads of the past, brands are beginning to personalize their messaging from one consumer to the next. It makes sense; the more specific your messaging, the more it will resonate with your audience.

Still, the art of personalizing is no easy feat, and current events have made it even more challenging. When Mark Zuckerberg met with Congress in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook data breach, it represented the apex of concern on behalf of the American population. The long and short of it? Consumers are worried about what brands are doing with their personal data.

In light of those concerns, it’s imperative that brands treat consumers’ privacy as a priority. So, how do we deliver the personalized experiences that consumers want without being intrusive? Let’s take a look at two brands that did it best.

Adidas at the Boston Marathon

One of the country’s most historic races, the Boston Marathon, represents the culmination of months or years of training for over 30,000 runners. Naturally, many brands seek to get their logos and products in front of runners in order to build that personal connection. Still, samples in race kits and logos on banners are pretty impersonal.

This year was different, though, as Adidas took its sponsorship to the next level by creating customized marathon videos for every single runner. These videos, developed from 27 hours worth of footage, included each runner’s name, their times at different checkpoints, and a personal video clip from along the race course. This feat was accomplished thanks to a crew of 18 people (film, editing, and support) and RFID technology that helped identify each runner’s bib at various points on the race course.

The results? In the few days following the race, 15% of videos had been shared on Facebook, amassing over 100,000 views with a completion rate of 95%. By capturing such personal moments in each runner’s life – that they otherwise would not have had access to – Adidas was able to create an emotional connection with consumers.

L’Oréal’s MakeupGenius App

For many years, women have gone to department stores to try new makeup or beauty products. After all, how are you supposed to know how it looks until you put it on? Still, that doesn’t change the fact that going to the store to get makeup done is an inconvenient and time-consuming process.

L’Oréal saw this as an opportunity and developed the MakeupGenius app, which allows consumers to test products on their phone. Using the phone camera and one-of-a-kind facial recognition technology, the app allows for a seamless virtual application. Beyond applying the makeup, users can share photos direct to social media and even scan products in-store to try right away. Not only does this app allow for a personalized customer experience that acts like a digital sales associate, but it also allows L’Oréal to be personally available for its customers whenever and wherever they are shopping.

Ultimately, both Adidas and L’Oréal were able to provide customized experiences for consumers with no hint of intrusion of privacy. Instead, they used established technology in unique ways to add value to consumers’ daily lives. When creating your next campaign, consider taking a cue from Adidas and L’Oréal and you, too, will reap the benefits. 

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