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Personalization vs. individualization: if no one had to choose?

Written by Colette on 11, September 2019

Unless you have disappeared from the world of Marketing in the last two years, you have not been able to escape the sirens of personalization. In addition to being omnipresent in CRM strategies, its definition is no longer sufficient on its own. We now talk about hyper-personalization or advanced personalization.

Individualization, on the other hand, seems to be a longer-term objective. Let's say it, individualization leads to a paradigm shift. The message must be adapted to the client's intent and context at the time of the real-time exposure. What is the objective? Offer a tailor-made experience. That sounds like the definition of personalization, doesn't it?

Let's go further with email, the first mass communication channel for brands.

Over-segmentation kills personalization

A marketing campaign means segmenting, without hesitation. By best profile, by product offer at worst. Messages are often not up to our expectations and the marketer sets the agenda.

We can now question segmentation and targeting in the era of engagement. For example, I don't buy today what I will buy tomorrow. In the same way, I may not have bought anything in recent months and spent a lot of money by tomorrow. When you prepare your new campaign, I will appear in one category or the other.

Targeting is also irremediably associated with the notion of campaign. You always have to form groups. So I will appear in a group of people of the same age, living in the same place and with the same average shopping basket.

Forget about flexibility with segmentation and the ability to act quickly. You can't build a message for everyone that makes them want to interact. Here is in which the strategy of individualization makes sense.

People set the pace

In fact, everyone agrees on this derivative of " the customer is king " but let's be honest, how many brands adapt their message to customers in real time by email? In other words, how many individualize their messages at the time of the exposition? 

We all experienced that frustrating moment when the item was out of stock. Or this email that shows products identical to what I bought last month.

It is true that combining inventory management, items seen during the journey on the site, geolocation, etc. requires to be able to capitalize on the first & third party data in order to have an overview of the customer journey. 

It is at this very precise moment that we gradually get out of the campaign field! If the ideal remains to create unique messages, we can always start by integrating an individualized zone. Etam records a 190% increase in clicks using the individualization of its products in emails.

How Etam individualizes its products in its emails 

Etam, which undoubtedly has one of the most engaged communities, is no longer introduced. 

Always in search of new experiences for its customers, the brand creates personalized products at the Atelier sur mesure by Etam. The company is betting on sending her clients an email with an individualized visual. It is created at the time of opening and is unique.

If we look at the results, the challenge of combining offline and online experience through the creation of individualized emails meets its objectives. Personalization vs. individualization, it seems that Etam has made its choice. And you?

Topics: Customer Experience, individualization