Personalization in Marketing

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Consumer Campaign Personalization - Case Studies

Cadbury, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola are three companies who have successfully used personalization in their consumer campaigns. Cadbury's personalized video campaign; Starbucks games and rewards program; and Coca-Cola's Share A Coke campaigns are examples of personalization in successful consumer campaigns.



  • Cadbury decided to embark on a personalized marketing campaign because the company realized that TV ads were not achieving the kind of engagement they wanted(source 1)
  • Cadbury embarked on this campaign to increase market penetration in Australia and increase brand awareness.


  • Cadbury worked with Idomoo on this personalized video campaign. An app called flavor matcher was used to determine consumers personality type after they pick their favorite flavor. Then based on information gathered from their Facebook profile, a video was automatically created containing personal information of the user that can be shared on social media.



  • Starbuck engaged in this personalized campaign to reward loyal customers, encourage them to try new products, and visit stores regularly.


  • Starbucks created personalized games with information generated from past visits and digital interactions. These games reach the customer via email or app.
  • The reward games give users 2 points for every dollar spent. Members get other benefits like free in-store refills, free beverage on the user’s birthday, personalized suggestions based upon past orders, special member offers/events, mobile payment, and pre-order. One gets more points when they spend more at Starbucks.


  • As a result of this campaign, Starbucks’ marketing campaign results tripled, email redemption doubled, mass marketing spends reduction, and a threefold increase in the incremental spending of customers who redeem offers.
  • With this game/ rewards program, Starbucks has generated an instant digital relationship with the 14.2 million active US reward program members. The loyalty game rewards program has seen an 11% growth in users in the second quarter of 2018 and reward program members in certain places spend more, representing 39% of the entire chain’s sales.



  • Coca-Cola's "Share A Coke" campaign was introduced to resolve the issue of stagnant sales.


  • The campaign started in 2011 in Australia, and the company traded its logo for 250 of the country's most popular names. Consumers were encouraged to look for bottles carrying their names and to post on social media with the hashtag #ShareaCoke.
  • Knowing that some names were not so popular, Coca-Cola created a 500-stop, cross-country "Share a Coke" tour where mini cans were customized for fans and a second one for someone special. There were preprinted options with titles such as BFF, bestie, etc. for those who couldn't find their names.


  • The share a coke campaign resulted in 7% increase in sales, a total of more than 18 million media impressions, and traffic on the Coke Facebook site increased by 870%, with page ‘likes’ growing by 39%.
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Personalization in Finacial Campaigns - Case Studies

The two real-world examples of personalization in financial sector campaigns that worked well are HSBC 'Choose What You Love' campaign and Bajaj Allianz ‘Long term two-wheeler insurance plan’ campaign.

1) HSBC 'Choose What You Love' Campaign

  • HSBC Singapore had partnered with JWT Singapore in 2017 to launch a data-driven interactive personalization campaign titled 'Choose What You Love'. The personalization campaign was primarily designed to help consumers choose a credit card that suits their lifestyle and personality.
  • The campaign was created in collaboration with Dru Chen, a singer-songwriter who wrote and co-produced a distinctive song for the campaign with one of Singapore’s leading music producers, Leonard Soosay.
  • As part of the personalization campaign, a unique music video personalized for each consumer was created through five lifestyle questions centered around their favorite types of Singaporean activities ranging from meals to holiday plans, to weekend treats. The answers to these, along with the additional data such as weather, date, time and consumers' Facebook details and real-time data, was leveraged to generate a customized music video which featured the consumer's closest personality match.
  • The campaign worked with over 16,000 video permutations and the content generated by the site was transformed into a "more intimate, informative and shareable experience for each consumer." This resulted in a perfect card match for each user.
  • The various media channels deployed for the campaign included cinema, email marketing, online display, outdoor/out-of-home print, radio and audio, social media, and websites and microsites.

  • The primary motive of HSBC behind this personalization campaign was to present an engaging way for users and consumers to find out more about its offerings and help its credit cards stand out within the market.
  • The campaign aimed at accelerating the credit card sign-ups for four of HSBC's credit cards. It allowed HSBC to understand the nuances of their potential customers and used this to target them with the most relevant offer based on their preferences.
  • As per the company's general manager, there are umpteen credit cards in the Singapore market and consumers are often left in a state of befuddlement while choosing one over the other. Currently, there are no interesting personalized ways to engage consumers in choosing a credit card. Also, since the younger consumers are looking for entertainment that’s relevant, HSBC combined music and technology to create a personalized, data-driven music video in sending the message of having a unique credit card.

  • The campaign was primarily successful because it was able to strike a resonant chord with the targeted audience. The campaign's strategy to champion personalization through an engaging digital experience, and exploring music as a fresh medium that talks to customers’ emotions contributed to its success.
  • The success of the campaign is corroborated by the fact that within three months of its deployment across multiple platforms, it overperformed the target with 63% spurt in the HSBC credit card applications.
  • The campaign also won the prestigious 2018 IAS Effie Singapore Awards that celebrate the great advertising works in Singapore. In addition, the campaign was also featured among the list of 21 campaigns that were shortlisted for the 2018 WARC Awards' Effective Content Strategy category.

2) Bajaj Allianz ‘Long term two-wheeler insurance plan’ Campaign

  • The insurance company, Bajaj Allianz, under its personalization marketing campaign ‘Long term two-wheeler insurance plan’, leveraged personalized and customized content based on the audience’s buyer-stage to effectively engage and target the non-interactive user base.
  • The company's campaign was categorized into 4 stages.
    • In the first stage, the company used segmented-based targeting, offering lucrative long term two-wheeler insurance plan for a total period of 3 years to the new audience for its products.
    • In the second stage, based on data analytics insights, the company primarily focused on re-engaging with users who did open its mailers, yet seemed reluctant to proceed further. The campaign understanding the confusion of its user-base offered some notable personalized benefits to them in "an attempt to re-engage with the buyers it thought are lost".
    • In the third stage, the company tried to engage and coax those who did open the mailers and additionally paid a visit to the landing page but did not convert into a customer and remained a prospective buyer. The company under the campaign endeavored to engage such prospective buyers with some extra personalized benefits apart from the ones offered through long term two-wheeler insurance plan.
    • In the final stage, the company targeted those who bought the product and got converted to a customer, by offering similar products and letting them know of several other insurance plans offered by the company and keeping them engaged with the website even at the last step.
  • Bajaj Allianz primarily undertook the campaign to leverage personalized and customized content based on audiences’ buyer-stage to effectively engage and target the non-interactive user base.
  • In addendum, the company also targeted the new user base and also endeavored to enhance its consumer conversion rates by offering personalized benefits and offerings as part of this campaign.
  • As per the company management, "personalization along with the right kind of targeting is essential for adding value in the customer’s life". Hence, they undertook this campaign so that they can better comprehend and add value to their consumers at each buying stage through the usage of data analysis and interpretation.
  • The campaign was primarily successful because the company was able to reach its customers with more specific and personalized communications, offers benefits based on their need at any buyer-stage rather than general reach.
  • As a mark of success, the company averred that the result of the campaign was better than expected and it was able to achieve a much higher open rate than the regular email campaigns that the company runs on a monthly basis.
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Impact of Personalization in Finance

Impact of personalization in finance and in B2C companies include increases revenue, increases performance expectancy, decreases effort expectancy, drives sales communications, retains customers in an evolving marketplace, uplifts customer loyalty, increases customer's engagement with the brand, and increases revenue-per-send by 52X.

Impact of personalization in the financial sector and on b2c companies overall

About personalization

  • Personalization is a critical strategy for delivering a better experience for prospects and customers, often seen as a competitive advantage in the financial service industry and a way to increase customer loyalty.
  • 78% of financial institutions (FIs) increased investment in customer experience innovation in 2017.
  • 32% of financial service organizations are using AI technologies such as predictive analytics, recommendations engines, voice recognition, and response for personalization.
  • 50% of all banking providers believe AI will have a significant impact on their business model.
  • 79% of FIs consider it "very" or "extremely" important to deliver guidance to customers in real time.

1. personalization increases revenue

  • 14% more revenue — what FIs estimate they'd earn if they could successfully offer customers an individual experience.
  • According to a research conducted by Forrester Consulting, AI-based personalization yields, on average, 5% incremental conversion improvement and 5.5% incremental basket size improvement, amounting to over 10% possible revenue uplift from personalization alone on that digital experience platform.
  • BCG estimates that personalization can increase revenue growth for financial sector such as for every $100 billion in assets that a bank has, it can achieve as much as $300 million in revenue growth.

2. personalization leads to increased performance expectancy & decreased effort expectancy

  • There are plenty of banks and financial services providers who are increasingly delivering their services via electronic banking, also known as e-banking. But, the degree of personalization in the services provided via this channel exhibit considerable variation.
  • Survey results indicated that personalization leads to increased performance expectancy and decreased effort expectancy, which in turn, led to increased intention to continue using e-banking services.
  • Personalization and previous e-banking experiences produce an interaction effect on both performance expectancy and effort expectancy.

3. Personalization will also drive sales

  • Every banking customer is unique. Therefore, bespoke services will naturally fit better than standard options.
  • One bank has used personalization to lift branch sales productivity by more than 30% while another institution has seen a 20% increase in revenues over three years.

4. personalization is the key to retaining customers in an evolving marketplace

  • Personalization can utilize customers' personal and transaction data to understand where they stand financially and provide customized guidance to their customers.
  • As a result, providing personalization across all stages of the consumer journey is key to retaining customers in an evolving marketplace.
  • Additionally, it is also a must for growing businesses with new products or service offers.
  • Personalization in financial institution can build deeper relationships with each customer based on affinity and the recognition that the customer has trusted the institution with his or her money.

5. Personalization impacts customer loyalty

  • The successful balance of technology and personalization will lead financial providers to be well-placed to outperform their competitors, both in terms of revenue and their ability to supply highly differentiated, individualized experiences.
  • Personalization in finance positively impacts customer's loyalty in a way that customers feel that they can conveniently access their accounts via technology and that their financial service providers truly care about providing them with a positive experience. As a result, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.
  • According to the global market research firm GFK, personalized experiences offered to consumers are more likely to be committed to their primary financial service providers.

6. Personalization impacts customer's engagement with the brand

  • The latest statistics from Statista reveal that as of March 2018, 77% of marketers are using personalization in email marketing, and more than half (52%) are using personalized communications on their websites.
  • Another separate report from Demand Metric found that the majority (61%) of the companies are now using personalization in their content marketing, of which, a massive 80% said that delivering personalized content was more effective than delivering “unpersonalized” content to visitors.
  • A consumer survey of 1,500 consumers by Onespot reveal that the higher the personal relevancy of a piece of marketing content, the more favorable the impression the consumer forms of the brand that delivers it. 87% of respondents said that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand.
  • Additionally, the study also found that 72% of consumers believe that the brand itself is more relevant to them, when it delivers personalized content, with 82% feeling more loyal to the brand and 84% more trusting.
  • Some B2C companies providing personalized experience for customers is Amazon. For instance, taking their product recommendations into account which provides “Inspired by your shopping trends/browsing history” and “Customers who bought this also bought this” followed by a list of personalized recommendations of further products that the retailer’s algorithms “think” will interest the user.
  • This is also similar with Netflix, where customers who log in are presented with “Top Picks for [Customer’s First Name]” and “Because You Watched The Wolf of Wall Street” lists containing titles the company’s algorithms predict will be of personal interest to the named user.

7. Personalization increases Revenue-per-send by 52X

  • Deep personalization relies on a combination of dynamic segmentation, smart product recommendations, triggers based on customer behavior, and much more.
  • A combined personalization with behaviorally triggered emails, can get up to 52X ROI on B2C marketing.
  • For non-personalized emails, the click-to-convert rate is 4% while with personalized emails, the click-to-convert rate rises to 7%.
  • Non-personalized emails generate $0.26 per send while personalized emails generate $1.77 per send.
  • Non-personalized and non-behavioral campaigns generate just $0.26 in revenue-per-send while personalized and behavioral campaigns generate a massive $13.62 revenue-per-send.
  • Few B2C companies that integrates personalization in their email marketing campaign such as Calvin Klein sends out a specially curated email with suggested items based on the browsing behavior.
  • On the other hand, stainless steel water bottle company Hydro Flask takes a cross-selling approach to its personalized emails to customers who were browsing their site.
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Personalized Advertising - Best Practices

Two of the best practices in regard to personalized advertising include targeting the right audience and being conscious of consumer privacy. Two of the things to avoid in personalized advertising include using highly sensitive data of consumers and hiding information.

Best practices in regard to personalized advertising


  • The ads which are created with well-informed data and are based on consumer's preferences are talked and responded well.
  • It is imperative that before the launch of interest-based advertising, one gets to know the people they are trying to reach and make certain of the relevance of the ad.
  • The key to personalized advertising success is by targeting the right audience and understanding their preferences beyond demographics.


  • Consumers appreciate the convenience of personalized advertising. But, prefer to be assured on the policy of protecting their data and privacy.
  • It is crucial to be concerned about the privacy of consumers. Using blue icon in or near the ad and sharing an opt-out button provides an opportunity for the consumers to learn more about the company that selected this ad and can decide whether to opt out of it.

THINGS TO AVOID in personalized advertising


  • Be thoughtful while accessing or using highly sensitive information like bank details, search topics, political beliefs, sexual orientation, etc. of consumers. This will prevent the consumer from feeling manipulated, in turn, there won't be any negative responses from.
  • Marketers should be cautious about the fine line between creepy and delightful personalized ad experience and have control over using personal data of the consumers.


  • Avoid hiding information from the consumers about how the data has been collected and details on the further usage of personal information.
  • Marketers should follow the thumb rule to provide information about data-use practices upon request and commit to at least a minimum amount of transparency.

Your Research team applied the following Strategy:

In order to obtain information about the best practices and things to avoid in personalized advertising, we examined multiple credible marketing and advertising sources and government organizations such as HBR, Forbes, YouGov, BBB, MartechAdvisor, G2Crowd etc. In these sources, we identified several best practices and things to avoid in personalized advertising. Information that was repeated in multiple credible sources are presented in this brief.

From Part 03
  • "Financial institutions (FIs) estimate that if they could successfully offer customers an individualized experience, they would earn an additional 14% in annual revenue. And 79% of FIs consider it “very” or “extremely” important to deliver guidance to customers in real time."
  • "Forrester Consulting, for example, conducted research on behalf of Episerver and found AI-based personalization yields, on average, 5% incremental conversion improvement and 5.5% incremental basket size improvement, amounting to over 10% possible revenue uplift from personalization alone on that digital experience platform."
  • "BCG estimates that for every $100 billion in assets that a bank has, it can achieve as much as $300 million in revenue growth by personalizing its customer interactions. We also expect personalized banking to drive material competitive advantage for first movers that embrace it over the next five years."
  • "Providing personalization across all stages of the consumer journey is key to retaining customers in an evolving marketplace. In addition, it's a must for growing business through relevant new product or service offers."
  • "In a research on the power of personalization in banking, global market research firm GfK outlined the compelling value personalized experiences offer to consumers to stay committed to their primary financial service providers."