Personalization is Revolutionizing Customer Engagement


Share on LinkedIn

Just a few years ago, a marketer’s idea of creating customer engagement might have meant using an inflatable dancer to woo new customers onto the car lot. A salesperson might have then persuaded potential buyers into test-driving a car by giving away a pair of Kelly Clarkson tickets.


However the idea of customer engagement today is about a brand providing you, the customer, real-time experiences that are so personalized to your unique needs and desires that the path from consideration to purchase is shortened. The inflatable dancer has evolved into a customized coupon that is delivered straight to your mobile device when you’re within a five-mile radius of a store.

Unlike the Kelly Clarkson tickets, you will actually use (and find delight in) this coupon because the brand has combined your purchase history with social data, collected from your recent tweet about that brand’s products, to create a valuable interaction. These personalized, data-driven and contextually relevant experiences are now possible, and are becoming expected by customers.

Not only are customers expecting it and brands migrating this way, but the benefits of a personalized program leads to a direct improvement in business metrics. In a recent study, 70% of agencies said they saw an increased response rate with a personalized program, and 60% of brand marketers said it improved their repeat-purchase rate.


So how are marketers creating a more personalized experience? They are using two important types of data:

1. Customer – Data you collect from purchase and browsing behavior.

2. Contextual – Data that is gathered via real time signals such as weather, location, or type of device.

Combining these two types of data enables brands to better engage with consumers, and create experiences that are 1:1 versus 1:many. Here are three examples that are being used today:

1) Google Now – This tool changes the game for customer engagement. Google uses the data from your phone (calendar, gmail, location) to predict your needs. For example, Google Now might let me know when I need to leave for an event on my calendar to arrive on time considering my location and current traffic conditions. It can also provide me with directions to my event location, weather, and local sports scores. This tool answers my questions without me ever asking them.

Brand Implication – Do you have customer and contextual information that you can infuse into your apps or experience? Perhaps customers are more likely to come back to your site and buy a sweater when the temperature drops below 50 degrees for the first time.

2) 7-Eleven – Their app updates content and messaging based on time of day and weather. For example, they feature movie rentals on weekend nights and hot drink options on cold mornings.

Brand Implication – What opportunities exist to provide more relevant content via your app or web experience? Do you provide product recommendations based on previous purchase history, current location, or weather? Do you treat a returning customer the same as a new customer? These are opportunities to improve the way you engage with your customers.

3) Twitter “Tailored Audiences” – Twitter allows brands to tie their customers’ browsing behavior back to their Twitter activity. This creates a more relevant target audience for Promoted Tweets. This is very similar to the Facebook Ad Exchange. Marketers can leverage owned data to create personalized and targeted ads across the web.

Brand Implication – Using browsing behavior enables brands to turn a non-targeted ad into a highly targeted and personalized ad. Using your CRM database to create these ads improves performance.

Customer engagement is being driven more and more by brands’ ability to personalize a customer’s experience. This is not some futuristic fantasy – it is happening right now. Think about what data points you have available to customize your business. Your consumers will appreciate it and your business will profit from it.

Jason Tabeling
Jason Tabeling is a Partner at Rosetta responsible for all things paid, owned and earned media. Jason has a deep understanding of digital marketing, including media, social, e-mail and data integration. He has successfully managed many digital campaigns during his career and has developed evolving integrated strategies across all connected devices for various clients focusing on each clients core competencies in both the online and offline channels.


  1. Great examples. Like you, I’m bullish on personalization, and its ability to help create more positive and memorable customer experiences. That said, since so much of perceived value is driven by trust, the challenges, and potential behavior negatives, of personalization also need to be recognized:

  2. Good article, Jason. Brands that use these data points will sprint ahead of those who are slow to adopt. I think we’ll see further targeting, for example, why not deliver ads that resonate with the way your brain is wired? Some people want all the details; others are fine with a bare-bones presentation. This ads new meaning to ‘contextually relevant.’


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here