February 14, 2021

Retail marketers have been personalizing customer messages and offers since the dawn of… retail. But doing it at scale, regionally, nationally, and globally requires data and automation.

And now, personalization is just… well… expected – it’s the bare minimum for any marketing initiative. And you can toss in some basic segmentation to help eliminate waste. Table stakes. Yet for small and mid-sized retailers, even this can still be a challenge.

As comedian Jeff Foxworthy might say:

  • If your demand generation emails start with “Dear valued customer”, you might be an outdated marketer.
  • If you offered a discount on a new TV to someone who just bought one, you might be an outdated marketer.
  • If your customer in Florida just received a mailer that the 4th snow tire is free, you might be an outdated marker.
  • If you’ve used a cursive font to fool your customer into thinking they’d received a hand-written note, then… you might be an outdated marketer.

Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t quit my day job to go into stand-up comedy. But… One-dimensional personalization no longer fools people into thinking that their needs are recognized, and these offers are often misguided.

Today’s consumers expect more from retailers. They seek experiential connected shopping. They want each shopping experience to contribute to the next. They want the physical and digital experience to be integrated. They expect AI to know what they want and offer combinations of goods and services to provide the optimal consumer experience. This is making the jump to hyper-personalization.

The bar has been raised. But it seems that only the largest retailers with the deepest pockets can make the investments necessary to master the art of hyper-personalization, and then reap its proven rewards.

What is hyper-personalization? What does it require, and how can small and medium-sized retailers realistically incorporate it into their business practices? I’d I invite you to read this white paper I recently finished: The Modern Retailer Imperative: Creating Hyper-personalized, Connected Customer Experiences.

The paper establishes a phased maturity model for incorporating hyper-personalization to drive customer loyalty, growth, and differentiation. Furthermore, it explains the technology and solution approaches that can enable hyper-personalization. Finally, the paper offers prescriptive recommendations and a glide path for how retailers can quickly, easily and affordably augment their existing data and marketing automation systems with software that enables hyper-personalization.

Please leave comments. I would welcome any and all feedback on the paper.

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Jeff is part of the Digital Software & Solutions group of Tata Consultancy Services, as a lead evangelist for its IoT analytics platform solutions for smart cities, smart retail, smart banking, smart communications, and other areas. Jeff is part of the Digital Software & Solutions group of Tata Consultancy Services, as a lead evangelist for its IoT analytics platform solutions for smart cities, smart retail, smart banking, smart communications, and other areas. Prior to TCS, Jeff was part of EMC’s Global Services division, helping customers understand how to identify, and take advantage of opportunities in Big Data, IoT, and digital transformation. Jeff helped build and promote a cloud-based ecosystem for CA Technologies that combined an online community, cloud development platform, and e-commerce site for cloud services and spent several years within CA’s Thought Leadership group, developing and promoting content and programs around disruptive trends in IT. Prior to this, Jeff spent 3 years product marketing EMC, as well as a tenure at Citrix, and numerous hi-tech marketing firms – one of which he founded with 2 former colleagues in 1999. Jeff lives in Sudbury, MA, with his wife, 2 boys, and dog. Jeff enjoys skiing, backpacking, photography, and classic cars.