Personalization in the Dark

Kelly Gentile July 09, 2018
Personalization in the Dark

I recently spent a week at home without electricity.

Guess that means I should now log on to my fully-charged laptop computer and humble-brag about the experience on social media.

Admittedly, eating dinner by candlelight and using lanterns to illuminate rooms and hallways evoked a certain throwback charm, a simulacrum of living conditions from a long-bygone era. However, any of the quaint appeal of this lifestyle quickly dissipated amid the deafening pleas of two young children clamoring for PlayStation 4 and the latest episode of “Henry Danger.” The loss of power became a power struggle in more ways than one.    

Sit in on one of our meetings at SundaySky, and you’ll hear plenty of talk about the power of sight, sound and motion when we discuss personalized video. Yet in today’s always-on, hardwired world, we take for granted that the real power of personalized video is the electrical power which keeps all those mobile devices, computers and televisions up and running. Benjamin Franklin’s favorite science project is the fuel which enables SundaySky’s SmartVideos to arrive on our customers’ monitors and screens, safe and sound (or “sound off,” which is a perfectly acceptable format).

It’s reasonable to speculate what would happen to personalized video if everyone’s digital doodads went dark. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, aliens shut down the world’s power grid, sending civilization back to the Stone Age; OK, granted, that’s a worst-case scenario, but there’s a lesson to be learned: no marketer should be solely reliant on A/C current to keep current with a personalization mindset.

At our recent SmartVideo Summit in NYC, 1-800 CONTACTS CMO Phil Bienert spoke with SundaySky CMO Eric Porres about the building blocks of a great personalized experience.

“It starts with a foundation grounded in the customer experience – not just the bits that are digital, but really looking at that end-to-end experience. Identify every single time that you touch a customer. Whether it’s a pixel or a human being or some other type of impression, it’s an opportunity to make an impression and bring that customer closer to your brand.” – Phil Bienert, CMO, 1-800 CONTACTS

We agree with Phil. Brands should take comfort in knowing that the same tools and insights of personalized video are applicable to a non-digital, human-to-human marketing methodology.

At SundaySky we adhere to the following tenets:

  • Know your audience – We make sure our SmartVideos are targeted to the right viewers, and that’s a doable tactic for any brand with a brick-and-mortar presence.  For instance, Urban Outfitters customizes each of their retail locations to a specific geographic area, with differentiation in everything from the store décor to the products on the shelves.   
  • Follow the data – Personalized video builds trust and strengthens the relationship of the customer with the brand. Similarly, a brand can earn the trust of its customers by providing helpful, relevant information at any marketing touchpoint. Instead of using personal data to market and sell as the primary communication focus, a brand should clarify its messaging to avoid confusing or overwhelming the target audience.
  • Determine goals from pain points –  At SundaySky we look to impact behavior, so we always identify the success metrics of our personalized video initiatives. Those metrics are not always profit-driven; they could be such analytics as NPS, efficiency or digital adoption. Likewise, it’s important for a brand to define the measurement of success for any type of marketing campaign.

“Things go to the next level when you start to connect the dots to non-digital touchpoints. Bring personalization into those experiences too. When I was at AT&T, we started with the personalized video bill. But we found that if we could actually empower a customer service agent with that same type of content, we can create a better experience. If you empower your retail experience, as well as what you’re doing in digital, you are creating something unique for customers and they feel it.” – Phil Bienert, CMO, 1-800 CONTACTS

It’s clear that the ideas and themes of personalization can be used in all forms of brand marketing, online or offline. It’s also ironic that you just finished reading this article on one of those hi-tech devices dependent on electricity. So now that you’re plugged in, go press the “Play” button on one of our personalized videos, why don’t you?