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Embracing the softer side of personalized marketing

Embracing the softer side of personalized marketing

Leading retailers have long recognized the need to be innovative in their approach to creating a single view of the customer they can use internally and share with suppliers — allowing them to work together to understand their businesses, enhance the shopper experience, ultimately growing the bottom line.

For some retailers, this has been a tough vision to implement given the lack of technology, internal alignment and focus, or analytical resources to support such an effort.

Retailers who are determined to establish the best collaborative approach and the right investment model have already started working with their suppliers, reaping tangible benefits. Together, they are analyzing personalized marketing’s impact on key shopping groups and allowing everybody to better optimize their future spend in terms of effectiveness and ROI through shared visibility into measurement. When this type of data-driven analysis is done well, marketers can target specific shoppers with highly tailored offers and track their uptake and behavior over time — and adjust the outreach accordingly using a closed loop learning environment.

It’s not just about offers

Personalizing offers is necessary, but not enough. Including much more soft content into marketing communications is now a must. The early adopters realize that they want their shoppers to see them as a retailer that understands what matters most to them.


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Personalization can include reminders and recommendations for products in which they may be interested or may soon be interested in: such as recommendations unique to their changing needs as a family, individual dietary restrictions, or aspirations. Based on the knowledge a retailer has of the shoppers’ buying habits, sophisticated algorithms can quickly identify a shift in behavior that indicates a life change or a new unmet need. The sooner the science sees the shift, the sooner the retailer can customize offerings to accommodate the shopper.

By analyzing a shopper’s patterns and history, retailers are able to know their preferences such as wine flavor profiles, and therefore whether they should receive an invitation in their weekly email to a wine-tasting event at a store nearby or simply food pairings that data suggests they would enjoy. That can provide a lot more impact on their future behavior than simply sending them a notice that there’s a 25% off special on a variety of wine they may not have tried.

Retailers need to look at their consumers as distinct individuals, with habits that significantly vary — the most important shoppers with the same number of trips and overall spend levels can vary tremendously in their degree of price sensitivity, how often they replenish key routine categories, and which products drive their trip to the store. Embedding this knowledge into their CRM marketing strategies will always deliver a more profitable return on their investment, for retailers and suppliers.

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