Hyper-Personalization: A Boost for Your Brand

Patricia Blair Vice President of Marketing, Nectar Online Media Inc.

Posted on February 6th 2013

Hyper-Personalization: A Boost for Your Brand
ImageSince Facebook announced its new Graph Search, there has been a lot of buzz about social search. Obviously Facebook believes the hundreds of billions (trillions?) of photos, updates, likes, shares, tags, metadata and more, are a treasure trove from which they can generate meaningful revenue. Why? Because people want to know or learn about the world from people they know and whose opinions they [usually] trust. And if social search fulfills this need, the billion+ Facebook users will turn more and more to the social network when searching for stores, restaurants, services and so on. And brands will want to be there, to have the ability to communicate on a personal, even individualized level, with their customers.

Facebook has invested plenty of time and money in Graph Search, the “third pillar” of their social network experience, because of the huge potential they see. Web search provides answers based on the wisdom of crowds interested in answering the same question, regardless of who are in those crowds. Social search provides answers based on what’s important to you, your friends, and your friends’ friends. It’s a much smaller universe, yes, but also a much more relevant universe. This is micro-targeting.

Imagine a clothing retailer. Let’s call it A+ Apparel. A+ Apparel keeps track of its customers’ purchases on its e-commerce site. It also tracks how customers behave immediately before they get to the site as well as while on the site: how they got to the site, which A+ Apparel pages they viewed, what other items they click on while there, and so on. With this information, A+ Apparel can send a personalized message to a customer–let’s call her Jane–suggesting other clothing items, based on the jeans Jane previously bought, as well as the blouse and jacket she clicked on but didn’t purchase. This level of personalization is certainly better than suggesting generic items or only items A+ Apparel wants to push at a given time. But how about if A+ Apparel also knew and could include information their customers share about themselves on Facebook? What if A+ Apparel also knew that Jane has liked a certain brand of shoes, that she enjoys yoga, that one of her main interests is being “green?” Imagine the personalization then!  

This is hyper-personalization: the ability to individualize marketing messages by connecting social signals with transaction history and online behavior. The depth of personalization based on social data that can be applied to customer communications is revolutionary. If you could realize the benefits of social search for your brand, right here, right now, would you do it?

Patricia Blair

Vice President of Marketing, Nectar Online Media Inc.

I am the Vice President of Marketing & Client Services for Nectar Online Media, a big data and customer analytics software company. I enjoy all things digital. And social media brings digital into our lives in the most intimate way. I’ve spent my career focusing on the customer: how to deliver value, how to instill loyalty, how to improve their lives.

I joined Nectar Online Media because I saw the promise of harnessing digital information, most especially social data, to deliver customer value. My previous experience includes working as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, leading the marketing organizations at a couple Bain Capital-affiliated companies, and leading strategic marketing as well as digital efforts at companies in the media and retail industries. 

I like being at the junction of marketing and strategy and it’s never been more exciting than it is today, with social opening up incredible avenues of opportunity!  If you’d ever like to talk about digital, social, marketing and/or strategy, please let me know at [email protected].

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Posted on February 14th 2013 at 4:10PM

Great article.  Hyper personalization is the key to retailer's success online.  Using Facebook's social graph data will allow for greater one to one marketing both at the website level and in emails.  With the rise of mobile devices and mobile wallets, it is ever more important that retailers look for ways to connect rlevantly with their customers in any device they choose to be using.