We’re all used to personalization in marketing these days. It can be as simple as pulling a customer’s email into a subject line — or calling out a company’s unique industry on a landing page.
The stages of personalization from a single message mailing to predictive personalization (hyper personalization)
But with an influx of contextual, behavioral, demographic, and firmographic data now available to marketers in real-time, there’s a new subcategory of personalization that’s making quite the stir… hyper personalisation.
So, what is hyper-personalization?
Hyper personalization is exactly what it sounds like — it’s personalization 2.0.
In its most simple existence, it’s a form of marketing in which a site takes AI or ML, audience-based logic, and real-time data about a prospect and their company — and uses it to tailor an experience to an extreme level.
Want to send a unique offer to a visitor that’s been to your site 3 times, has viewed your pricing page, works in SaaS, and has a company size of 100+?
You can do that.
Interested in building an account-based marketing page that calls out a company’s name, location, size, and competitors — all before they’ve submitted an email?
That’s possible too. You’re only limited by your creativity and the breadth of your data collection.
Personalization vs hyper personalization
We already slightly covered this in the prior paragraph, but it’s useful to clarify the exact differences between personalization and hyper-personalization. As a refresher, let’s revisit our basic definition of traditional personalization:
The concept of building a customized web experience for each visitor. Rather than displaying a one-page fit all page, a personalized website displays a unique experience based on a visitor’s known characteristics.
Let’s compare that to our definition of hyper personalization:
The concept of using behavioral, contextual, demographic, and firmographic data alongside ML/AI in real-time to personalize a visitor’s entire experience.
While the two topics are related, there are a few small but key differences between the concepts. Here are the biggest points of distinction:
- Real-time vs delayed: Most hyper personalization can be done in real-time. This means that personalization software can take a visitor’s browsing behavior, content interactions, device type, and other context clues to automatically display the correct offer.
- Use of ML & AI: While personalization is often rule-based, hyper personalization often leverages data that’s been discovered in big data sets. AI or ML personalization products can help identify these opportunities and launch hyper personalization campaigns.
- The number of data points: Personalization often takes one or several data points into consideration (name, industry, revenue, location). Hyper personalization often takes many data points (due to the help of big data, AI, and ML).
What are the benefits of hyper personalization?
We’ve already covered the benefits of web personalization quite extensively in a previous post. Many of those points are relevant when talking about hyper personalization as well.
Here are a few:
- Higher converting pages: When you show a visitor or customer something that speaks to their unique wants and needs, something interesting happens. Rather than having to make more attempts to sell at them or get them to use something they don’t want to use, hyper-personalization allows you to throw up the perfect offer in front of them, at the perfect time.
- A better understanding of your customers: On the front end, you’ll be more accurately targeting offers. On the back end, you’ll be unlocking a lot of insights about your customer base.
- Less wasted sales time: Rather than having your sales team hound customers that don’t want to be contacted — what if you could reach them only when they’re a good fit for your product or service?
- Higher trust: When you serve your visitors and customers with exactly what they want to see, you align your interests. And consequentially, you start to earn consumer trust — whether you’re selling to B2C or B2B. They’ll value your brand more highly in the long-run, and you’ll start showing that you actually care.
Hyper-personalization: some great examples
You’re probably asking, “I get it. Hyper personalization seems like exactly what I want for my website. But how the heck do I get started?”
Well, great question!
Let’s first talk through a few business models that rely on real-time data and advanced machine learning to target offers to their extremely large customer bases.
Once your company is an Enterprise, data collection isn’t going to be your issue. It’s going to be about how you effectively leverage that data into meaningful campaigns. While a lot of companies have an exact plan for leveraging data — there are many, many more that don’t.
One great example of a company utilizing hyper personalization is Starbucks. With over 24,000 locations around the globe, Starbucks has access to a set of customer data that many companies only can dream of.
And adeptly, they’ve identified personalization with this data as one of the four parts of their digital flywheel (alongside Rewards, Payment, and Ordering).
Source: Harvard Business School
When you use your mobile app to order or pay, Starbucks can collect more data points and use that to send the most relevant offer or provide meaningful information.
That could be a free drink on your birthday, a push notification when you’re in proximity to a store, or even an offer pushing an iced cold coffee when it’s especially hot at your location.
In 2016, Starbucks began its attempts at hyper-personalization. Their first push was basic personalization. They started by sending 30 variants of an email per week.
While useful, that method is time-consuming and unscalable. So eventually, they made the move to hyper personalization in order to magnify their efforts. This led to 400,000 variants being sent per week, 1:1 personalized offers in the app, and 1:1 personalized recommendations in the app.
And Starbuck has benefited from these efforts — with their stock rising from $56 at the beginning of 2016 to $84 at the time of this writing.
One company that leads the pack in hyper personalization is Amazon. Through their variety of business units (Retail, Prime Video, AWS, Whole Foods, Goodreads, Kindle, Audible, and more) — they are constantly collecting data.
They use that across their business, personalizing their home page based on my past browsing, purchase behavior, and other data points.
For instance, on the page below, you see they call out my name, pull out photos of my past purchases (Quiet Comfort Headphones), promote items I’ve recently viewed (the Echo Flex and a monitor stand), and feature a show I’ve started watching (Jack Ryan).
Next time I visit, I’d see a completely different website. And if you were to visit the same page, you’d also see completely different information — every page is built directly for your unique wants and needs.
Get started with hyper personalization
With Experiences, you’re able to get the power of personalization that huge brands like Starbucks and Amazon are already utilizing to increase their revenue by millions every year.
Our web personalization platform allows you to launch unique hyper personalized experiences for every visitor. We can take your existing data from Segment, use it to create smart audience segments, and start building unique views for every visitor.
We’ll help you surface relevant audience groupings — and our easy-to-use visual editor makes changing a page easy as pie!
If you’re interested in learning more about how your digital business can start leveraging personalization, take a look at our guide, The Marketer’s Guide to Website Personalization in 2020.