Take Personalized Marketing to a New Level: 14 Brand Examples

One nice instance of customized advertising is the Charles Duhigg New York Occasions article titled, “How Firms Study Your Secrets and techniques.”

Charles wrote this text as a sequel to a public showdown. On this incident, a livid father stormed a Minnesota Goal retailer to demand why his teenage daughter obtained coupons for child merchandise.

Later, the daddy came upon his daughter was pregnant.

It seems the retailer was in a position to predict her being pregnant and customized the promotions she obtained. How? The retailer collected ‌(utterly legally) and analyzed a ton of knowledge. Creepy or nice advertising?

→ Click here to download our free guide to digital marketing fundamentals  [Download Now].

We’re nonetheless asking ourselves that query. Past this edge case, many manufacturers exemplify how companies ought to method customized advertising.

On this put up, you’ll learn the way customized advertising works and see examples of manufacturers that apply it with out sounding creepy. Listed below are 14 manufacturers that nailed customized advertising in a enjoyable, non-intrusive method.

14 Personalised Advertising and marketing Examples

1. Shutterfly

Shutterfly is an internet site and app for creating canvases, photograph books, and calendars. It’s additionally nice for designing personalised presents with the faces of individuals or something you need.

Certainly one of Shutterfly’s hallmarks is the inventive emails it sends. However greater than that’s the customized merchandise choices on its app.

In the event you obtain the Shutterfly smartphone app, you possibly can create an account and allow Shutterfly to entry your images.

With this permission, Shutterfly routinely identifies images with faces and locations them on gadgets you should purchase from the app. An instance is these mugs.

personalized marketing examples, Shutterfly picture of two mugs

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The Takeaway

In the event you promote customized merchandise, it’s useful to indicate your clients what they might get. Seeing their images or phrases associated to their life in your product may entice them to purchase.

Nonetheless, once you do that, make sure you get express permission to undergo somebody’s info to tug this knowledge. With out correct permissions, getting the private knowledge of shoppers may come off as untrustworthy or downright creepy.

2. Funko

Personalization could be a worth proposition and generate buzz round your model. In search of an instance? Take a look at Funko, a toy producer finest identified for its bobblehead-like figures of pop cultural icons.

In 2023, the model launched a brand new POP! Your self line, the place clients could make Funko figures of themselves, their households, and their associates. This enables clients to work together with the model, creating one thing of their picture.

Funko customized figure

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The Takeaway

Personalization offers your viewers a novel strategy to work together along with your model. Funko figures have a cult following amongst collectors.

This new providing permits model lovers to create one thing completely distinctive — a determine they will’t get wherever else.

Of us who know Funko lovers can even create a present that their cherished one doesn’t have of their assortment.

3. Penguin Random Home

Personalised advertising isn’t nearly making customized merchandise. Typically, customized advertising focuses on pairing your present merchandise with people who will love them.

For instance, let’s check out ebook writer Penguin Random Home.

The publishing firm has a variety of titles, and ebook lovers can discover one thing they’ll love of their library. The advertising staff on the firm makes the method slightly simpler with quizzes.

Readers can discover out who their literary match is likely to be, piquing their curiosity in shopping for the ebook.

personalized marketing quiz

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The Takeaway

Quizzes are each a sneaky strategy to supply suggestions and an interactive factor that may hold your web site guests entertained. You possibly can present a simple, enjoyable strategy to personalize their expertise in your website.

4. Vidyard

I used to be in awe when my colleague, HubSpot Academy Gross sales Professor Kyle Jepsen, forwarded me an e-mail with the remark, “Taking personalization to a complete new stage.” This video exhibits customized advertising at its most interesting.

Vidyard may have superimposed every recipient’s title onto the whiteboard on this video and stored the identical script for each.

However they didn’t cease there. Cole, the gentleman talking within the video, not solely addressed Kyle by his first title but additionally referred to his particular colleagues and the conversations he had with them.

The Takeaway

There’s solely a lot personalization you possibly can obtain utilizing textual content. However customized movies? That adjustments every thing. Personalizing your combined media content material is an fascinating and sometimes efficient method. “I imply, clearly, he made the video only for me,” Jepson mentioned.

Whereas this kind of data-driven personalization is memorable, it’s additionally extraordinarily time-consuming. So, if you happen to got down to create it, be completely positive you’re focusing on the best folks. There’s nothing worse than taking the time to provide one thing extremely custom-made, solely to find you’ve despatched it to somebody who doesn’t have the decision-making energy you want.

5. Tony Robbins & Dean Graziosi

Self-improvement consultants Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi hosted a week-long Personal Your Future webinar in 2021. After the webinar, registered individuals obtained a customized appreciation e-mail. This e-mail included an image of Dean holding an envelope with every participant’s first title handwritten on it.

Damilare Olasinde, a content material advertising skilled, was one of many webinar attendees. He had this to say about how he felt upon receiving the e-mail.

“It thrilled me to bits. Being a copywriter, I’m aware of e-mail personalization. However I’d by no means seen this earlier than, and I cherished it.”

The Takeaway

E mail personalization usually revolves round customized topic strains, checklist segmentation, and customized content material. However Tony and Dean took their e-mail personalization efforts up a notch.

This may really feel like an inexpensive thrill, but it surely makes a distinction to clients. As an illustration, Damilare knew that this seemingly handwritten handle was most likely a handwritten font generated by software program. Nonetheless, the gesture warmed his coronary heart.

As an entity, it’s worthwhile to discover inventive methods to make use of digital instruments to create cute little moments like what Tony and Dean’s checklist members skilled. This sort of gesture is tough to overlook, even after a few years. It could actually provide help to create loyal followers and clients for a lifetime.


IPSY is one other model with personalization on the core of its enterprise. This subscription service sends over 5 customized, sample-sized merchandise each month to its customers. The seize bag’s choice relies on the product classes customers are most all in favour of.

To get began, subscribers take a quiz to point their pursuits. Right here, they will point out what merchandise they wish to obtain and the way ceaselessly.

personalized marketing, ipsy

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The Takeaway

Magnificence is a really private class. Buyers are on the lookout for merchandise that match their pores and skin tone and shade vary. The extra customized your product providing, the extra customized your advertising must be.

7. Amazon

Amazon’s personalization efforts aren’t precisely new. Since a minimum of 2013, its product curation and suggestion algorithm has made headlines and case research. And but, each time I go to my Amazon homepage, I can’t assist however scroll down and get a kick out of its suggestions for me. Take a look:

 personalized marketing examples, Image of Amazon related and recommended items

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Those that know me are conscious of my borderline obsession with hip-hop, which can also be the motivation for a lot of my on-line purchasing conduct. Clearly, Amazon has taken discover.

And as I continued scrolling down, the becoming personalization went on. There was a header studying “For an evening in” with suggestions on what to stream on Amazon Prime — an exercise that contains most of my weekend.

Its suggestions for canine and kitchen merchandise have been on level, as properly. In any case, these are the classes the place I take advantage of purchases.

It’s not simply me. After I requested my colleagues what their Amazon homepages regarded like, they have been equally happy. Sophia Bernazzani, a fellow Advertising and marketing Weblog workers author (and self-proclaimed “cat mom of three”), had a plethora of customized cat meals suggestions, whereas Managing Editor Emma Brudner’s steered Prime streaming titles got here with the header, “Bingeable TV.”

“Amazon,” Brudner remarked, “You already know me so properly.”

The Takeaway

As Brudner mentioned, Amazon appears to know us fairly properly, although I do query why, as per the picture above, its algorithm thought I would like to purchase a pair of leg heaters. The great factor about this personalization is that it may typically result in unplanned buying selections.

For instance, the aim of my most up-to-date go to to Amazon was to take a look at its personalization options for this text. However then, I found that Rapper’s Delight: The Hip Hop Cookbook was in my beneficial books. Did I purchase one thing I don’t want? Certain. However I used to be additionally delighted as a result of Amazon introduced it to my consideration with little or no effort.

One of the best half about these suggestions for customers is the invention of what they like — whether or not it’s a ebook, a instrument, or an article. In the event you can present this, clients will hold coming again as a result of they know they’d solely want minimal effort to seek out appropriate merchandise in your website.

8. Spotify

Music lovers love Uncover Weekly, a curated playlist of Spotify tracks a consumer might like. Like different personalization and suggestion platforms, Uncover Weekly works with the assistance of an algorithm to find out a consumer’s “style profile” primarily based on listening conduct and the preferred playlists among the many complete Spotify viewers.

Right here’s an excellent diagram that visually represents the method:

personalized marketing examples, Discover weekly algorithm

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As a lot as I take advantage of Spotify — which is near each day — I’ve by no means bothered listening to my Uncover Weekly playlist. So, I took it for a spin.

personalized marketing examples, Inside Spotify app

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The outcomes have been hit-or-miss. Whereas it thrilled me to find just a few nice songs that I plan to take heed to once more, many songs on my customized playlist felt “meh.”

That mentioned, these behind Uncover Weekly acknowledge that personalization isn’t an ideal science. In addition they have ideas for learn how to make it higher, like including the Uncover Weekly songs you prefer to your library or skipping these you dislike.

As an illustration, “If customers fast-forward inside the first 30 seconds of a music,” Spotify Product Director Matthew Ogle and Engineering Supervisor Edward Newett mentioned, “The Uncover Weekly algorithm interprets that as a thumbs-down for that music and artist.”

The Takeaway

Most personalization initiatives is not going to be excellent. Even with an excellent algorithm, they’re, at finest, very educated guesses about what’s going to use to your clients.

For that purpose, it is likely to be finest to take a conservative method to your suggestions, particularly within the earliest levels of your personalization efforts.

That is an space the place small-batch testing will be useful. Whenever you need to check out a personalization mission or algorithm, determine your most lively customers and invite them to pilot the know-how.

Pay attention rigorously to their suggestions — good and dangerous — and see what you are able to do to make it higher.

Spotify continues to emphasise the significance of personalization on its platform. In 2023, the corporate introduced that it might be launching a merch hub.

Right here, avid listeners will get suggestions on merchandise primarily based on their listening habits. That’s nice if you happen to’re trying to purchase cool band tees.

personalized marketing examples, Inside Spotify app

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9. ProWritingAid

Person knowledge is core to the advertising personalization technique at ProWritingAid. As a free or premium consumer, you obtain a weekly e-mail from ProWritingAid with this topic line — Your Achievements Final Week.

personalized marketing examples, Prowritingaid email

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ProWritingAid can ship this e-mail as a result of they observe writing on a number of units and platforms. In addition they know the variety of grammar and elegance ideas you accepted and even your most lively writing days.

Past personalization, one other purpose of this e-mail is to faucet into the group of customers. By together with a “click on to tweet” hyperlink, customers can share their progress on X (previously Twitter) and supply free PR for ProWritingAid.

The Takeaway

Knowledge is like unrefined oil on your model. In the event you run a SaaS enterprise and also you gather consumer knowledge, take into consideration the way you’d refine that uncooked knowledge and use it to personalize the expertise of your customers.

Take into account it like a “assist me provide help to” state of affairs.

Prospects subscribe to your product as a result of they need assistance with particular duties. Utilizing the info they supply, you possibly can assist them understand how they’re faring and spotlight alternatives for enchancment.

That’s the kind of motion that may make a model exceptional, fuel-free PR, and earn you new enterprise.

10. Netflix

Netflix takes customized advertising critically, and they’re extraordinarily good at it. Utilizing AI and Machine Studying, Netflix displays and analyzes the flicks and exhibits that customers watch, persistently work together with, and price.

The matching share (in inexperienced font) beside every program’s title exhibits how a lot a film or present might enchantment to a consumer. For me, Netflix nails this very properly. However the personalization technique of Netflix doesn’t finish in-app.

personalized marketing examples, Netflix app showing 99% match

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Netflix additionally sends customized emails to re-engage its customers. These distinctive emails inform customers about exhibits or motion pictures that match their preferences.

personalized marketing examples, Netflix reengagement email

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The Takeaway

Buyer expertise must be central to your model. Every part Netflix does is to make every consumer completely happy by predicting the content material {that a} consumer might like.

Whereas we are able to’t attribute Netflix’s regular income progress since 2013 solely to its customized advertising technique, there’s no gainsaying that it’s an excellent contributor.

11. OpenTable

OpenTable is a real-time on-line reservation community that helps eating places run smoother shifts, fill seats, flip friends into regulars, and create and promote eating experiences. This enterprise requires customized advertising to thrive.

Like Netflix, OpenTable has found out learn how to know its clients so it may ship customized content material to them. See this e-mail, as an example:

personalized marketing examples, OpenTable email

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Any buyer who receives this e-mail is prone to test it out. Why?

  • They’ve used OpenTable earlier than
  • They know the e-mail is for them
  • They imagine OpenTable is aware of their preferences

Within the uncommon case {that a} consumer doesn’t like OpenTable’s suggestions, the ultimate call-to-action (Discover Your Desk) is useful.

The Takeaway

Don’t add extra work to a buyer’s plate. The much less work a buyer does, the higher. Think about a buyer wading by means of 52,000+ eating places. That’s inconceivable.

The place attainable, use your clients’ knowledge to assist them out. Study and use their preferences to create customized suggestions. This can provide help to cut back the timeline on your buyer to purchase a services or products.

Do that, and you might have extra income within the bag.

12. Safeway for U

Personalised advertising isn’t nearly placing the best merchandise in entrance of consumers. You want ways to get them to purchase.

That’s the place customized coupons are available in. If a consumer sees that an merchandise they like has a particular sale, they’re extra possible so as to add it to their cart.

Let’s check out Safeway, a grocery retailer with over 240 shops within the U.S. The enterprise has an app referred to as Safeway for U. On the retailer; customers can scan barcodes that provide particular reductions. From there, the app learns about consumers’ preferences.

Safeway can then notify clients when a product they’d like is obtainable, personalizing the advertising expertise.

The Takeaway

When personalizing your advertising technique, search for alternatives to focus on coupons to the best viewers. Personalization permits you to goal probably the most compelling presents to the best viewers.

This will get consumers into the shop and the best merchandise into their cart.

13. Complain.biz

Complain.biz is a brand new on-line platform that helps shoppers file complaints in opposition to companies. The platform has a mission and perception that “shoppers need to be heard and handled pretty by corporations.”

In March 2023, the model launched an AI grievance letter generator (powered by GPT-4) that personalizes and facilitates grievance submitting primarily based on 1000’s of profitable examples.

This service empowers shoppers to mail well-written grievance letters to an organization’s headquarters.

The shock? Complain.biz doesn’t ship emails. They ship conventional paper mail, which is vetted by a human skilled.

personalized marketing examples, Complaint biz product page

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The Takeaway

The revolutionary GPT-4 know-how presents new alternatives to serve shoppers higher. As an illustration, at HubSpot, we’re growing our content material assistant and ChatSpot, that are powered by AI.

Whereas this protects time and value, sacrificing personalization to over-rely on AI will not be finest. Complain.biz understands this, and that’s why they leverage AI to enhance (and NOT exchange) human intelligence.

Alternatives exist to offer shoppers with priceless customized experiences utilizing AI. As a enterprise chief, the onus is on you to look deep into your corporation to seek out how AI may help you create nice buyer experiences.

14. Alibaba

Alibaba is a well-liked ecommerce big that used the Ling Shou Tong initiative to reinvent comfort shops in China.

LST is a partnership program between Alibaba and conventional mom-and-pop shops that goals to modernize and digitize.

Amongst different advantages of this program, individuals had entry to the Ling Shou Tong app, which helped retailer house owners automate their stock administration.

The app works by suggesting a listing of products almost definitely to promote primarily based on every retailer’s gross sales knowledge.

Manufacturers like Mondelez, the house owners of Oreos and different fashionable snacks, additionally benefited from this analytic knowledge.

By counting on shopper insights gathered in these shops, Mondelez launched a single Oreo bundle that focused clients who need inexpensive snacks.

LST has helped broaden Alibaba’s offline attain and strengthen its model recognition. As of the summer time of 2019, 1.3 million of the 6 million comfort shops had adopted the LST initiative.

personalized marketing examples, Alibaba - Store in China

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The Takeaway

Accenture consulting rightly describes LST as an progressive disruptor. Upon nearer examination, LST is solely customized advertising utilized to B2B retail. Nothing extra.

On reflection, the genius of the LST initiative is clear, as nobody was doing it on the time.

This prompts the query: What doubtlessly disruptive concepts are hiding in your corporation knowledge? As Michael Simmons remarks, nice alternatives for progress and enchancment are sometimes “sitting proper in entrance of us…however we are able to’t see.”

How are you going to uncover extra of those invisible alternatives? There’s no simple reply to that. However one suggestion is to lean into Simon Sinek’s “Begin With Why” philosophy.

As Simon describes in his ebook, nice concepts typically emerge once you’re maniacally dedicated to bettering the lives of your clients.

Get Private

One of many elementary functions of any personalization effort is to let your clients know you’re taking note of them.

However, hanging a stability between “we predict you may discover this beneficial” and “we’re watching you” isn’t a easy course of. You’ll want to do cautious analysis, planning, and testing earlier than leaping into any large-scale customization initiatives.

Do not forget that when you is likely to be a marketer, you’re additionally a shopper. With experiments like these, put your self into the footwear of the client and ask, “Is that this pleasant? Or is that this creepy?”

If it leans towards the latter, discover out what’s giving it that vibe, and check out one thing completely different.

Editor’s Notice: This put up was initially printed in December 2013 and has was up to date for comprehensiveness in November 2019.

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