Take Customized Advertising to a New Degree: 14 Model Examples


One nice instance of customized advertising and marketing is the Charles Duhigg New York Occasions article titled, “How Companies Learn Your Secrets.

Charles wrote this text as a sequel to a public showdown. On this incident, a livid father stormed a Minnesota Goal retailer to demand why his teenage daughter acquired coupons for child merchandise.

Later, the daddy came upon his daughter was pregnant.

It seems the retailer was in a position to predict her being pregnant and customized the promotions she acquired. How? The retailer collected ‌(utterly legally) and analyzed a ton of information. Creepy or nice advertising and marketing?

→ Click here to download our free guide to digital marketing fundamentals  [Download Now].

We’re nonetheless asking ourselves that query. Past this edge case, many manufacturers exemplify how companies ought to method customized advertising and marketing.

On this publish, you’ll learn the way customized advertising and marketing works and see examples of manufacturers that apply it with out sounding creepy. Listed here are 14 manufacturers that nailed customized advertising and marketing in a enjoyable, non-intrusive method.

14 Customized Advertising Examples

1. Shutterfly

Shutterfly is an internet site and app for creating canvases, picture books, and calendars. It’s additionally nice for designing personalised presents with the faces of individuals or something you need.

Certainly one of Shutterfly’s hallmarks is the artistic emails it sends. However greater than that’s the customized merchandise choices on its app.

In the event you obtain the Shutterfly smartphone app, you possibly can create an account and allow Shutterfly to entry your photographs.

With this permission, Shutterfly routinely identifies photographs with faces and locations them on gadgets you should buy from the app. An instance is these mugs.

personalized marketing examples, Shutterfly picture of two mugs

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The Takeaway

In the event you promote customized merchandise, it’s useful to indicate your clients what they might get. Seeing their photographs or phrases associated to their life in your product might entice them to purchase.

Nonetheless, if you do that, make sure you get specific permission to undergo somebody’s info to tug this information. With out correct permissions, getting the non-public information of shoppers might come off as untrustworthy or downright creepy.

2. Funko

Personalization is usually a worth proposition and generate buzz round your model. Searching for an instance? Take a look at Funko, a toy producer greatest recognized for its bobblehead-like figures of pop cultural icons.

In 2023, the model launched a brand new POP! Your self line, the place clients could make Funko figures of themselves, their households, and their mates. This permits clients to work together with the model, creating one thing of their picture.

Funko customized figure

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The Takeaway

Personalization offers your viewers a singular method to work together along with your model. Funko figures have a cult following amongst collectors.

This new providing permits model lovers to create one thing completely distinctive — a determine they will’t get wherever else.

Of us who know Funko lovers may also create a present that their beloved one doesn’t have of their assortment.

3. Penguin Random Home

Customized advertising and marketing isn’t nearly making customized merchandise. Typically, customized advertising and marketing focuses on pairing your present merchandise with people who will love them.

For instance, let’s check out e book writer Penguin Random Home.

The publishing firm has a variety of titles, and e book lovers can discover one thing they’ll love of their library. The advertising and marketing group on the firm makes the method a little bit simpler with quizzes.

Readers can discover out who their literary match is perhaps, piquing their curiosity in shopping for the e book.

personalized marketing quiz

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The Takeaway

Quizzes are each a sneaky method to provide suggestions and an interactive ingredient that may hold your web site guests entertained. You possibly can present a straightforward, enjoyable method to personalize their expertise in your website.

4. Vidyard

I used to be in awe when my colleague, HubSpot Academy Gross sales Professor Kyle Jepsen, forwarded me an electronic mail with the remark, “Taking personalization to a complete new degree.” This video reveals customized advertising and marketing at its best.

Vidyard might have superimposed every recipient’s identify onto the whiteboard on this video and saved the identical script for every one.

However they didn’t cease there. Cole, the gentleman talking within the video, not solely addressed Kyle by his first identify but additionally referred to his particular colleagues and the conversations he had with them.

The Takeaway

There’s solely a lot personalization you possibly can obtain utilizing textual content. However customized movies? That adjustments every little thing. Personalizing your combined media content material is an attention-grabbing and infrequently efficient method. “I imply, clearly, he made the video only for me,” Jepson mentioned.

Whereas this type of data-driven personalization is memorable, it’s additionally extraordinarily time-consuming. So, in case you got down to create it, be completely certain you’re focusing on the suitable individuals. There’s nothing worse than taking the time to provide one thing extremely custom-made, solely to find you’ve despatched it to somebody who doesn’t have the decision-making energy you want.

5. Tony Robbins & Dean Graziosi

Self-improvement consultants Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi hosted a week-long Personal Your Future webinar in 2021. After the webinar, registered members acquired a customized appreciation electronic mail. This electronic mail included an image of Dean holding an envelope with every participant’s first identify handwritten on it.

Damilare Olasinde, a content material advertising and marketing skilled, was one of many webinar attendees. He had this to say about how he felt upon receiving the e-mail.

“It thrilled me to bits. Being a copywriter, I’m acquainted with email personalization. However I’d by no means seen this earlier than, and I beloved it.”

The Takeaway

Electronic mail personalization sometimes revolves round custom subject lines, list segmentation, and personalized content. However Tony and Dean took their electronic mail personalization efforts up a notch.

This would possibly really feel like an affordable thrill, nevertheless it makes a distinction to clients. For example, Damilare knew that this seemingly handwritten tackle was in all probability a handwritten font generated by software program. Nonetheless, the gesture warmed his coronary heart.

As an entity, you should discover artistic methods to make use of digital instruments to create cute little moments like what Tony and Dean’s list members skilled. This type of gesture is troublesome to overlook, even after a few years. It could possibly provide help to create loyal followers and clients for a lifetime.


IPSY is one other model with personalization on the core of its enterprise. This subscription service sends over 5 customized, sample-sized merchandise each month to its customers. The seize bag’s choice is predicated on the product classes customers are most eager about.

To get began, subscribers take a quiz to point their pursuits. Right here, they will point out what merchandise they wish to obtain and the way incessantly.

personalized marketing, ipsy

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The Takeaway

Magnificence is a really private class. Customers are searching for merchandise that match their pores and skin tone and shade vary. The extra customized your product providing, the extra customized your advertising and marketing must be.

7. Amazon

Amazon’s personalization efforts aren’t precisely new. Since not less than 2013, its product curation and suggestion algorithm has made headlines and case research. And but, each time I go to my Amazon homepage, I can’t assist however scroll down and get a kick out of its suggestions for me. Take a look:

 personalized marketing examples, Image of Amazon related and recommended items

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Those that know me are conscious of my borderline obsession with hip-hop, which can also be the motivation for a lot of my on-line purchasing habits. Clearly, Amazon has taken discover.

And as I continued scrolling down, the becoming personalization went on. There was a header studying “For an evening in” with suggestions on what to stream on Amazon Prime — an exercise that contains most of my weekend.

Its suggestions for canine and kitchen merchandise had been on level, as nicely. In spite of everything, these are the classes the place I take advantage of purchases.

It’s not simply me. Once I requested my colleagues what their Amazon homepages seemed like, they had been equally happy. Sophia Bernazzani, a fellow Advertising Weblog workers author (and self-proclaimed “cat mom of three”), had a plethora of customized cat meals suggestions, whereas Managing Editor Emma Brudner’s advised Prime streaming titles got here with the header, “Bingeable TV.”

“Amazon,” Brudner remarked, “You recognize me so nicely.”

The Takeaway

As Brudner mentioned, Amazon appears to know us fairly nicely, although I do query why, as per the picture above, its algorithm thought I’d like to purchase a pair of leg heaters. The great factor about this personalization is that it will probably usually result in unplanned buying selections.

For instance, the aim of my most up-to-date go to to Amazon was to take a look at its personalization options for this text. However then, I found that Rapper’s Delight: The Hip Hop Cookbook was in my beneficial books. Did I purchase one thing I don’t want? Positive. However I used to be additionally delighted as a result of Amazon introduced it to my consideration with little or no effort.

The perfect half about these suggestions for customers is the invention of what they like — whether or not it’s a e book, a software, or an article. In the event you can present this, clients will hold coming again as a result of they know they’d solely want minimal effort to seek out appropriate merchandise in your website.

8. Spotify

Music lovers love Uncover Weekly, a curated playlist of Spotify tracks a consumer could like. Like different personalization and suggestion platforms, Uncover Weekly works with the assistance of an algorithm to find out a consumer’s “style profile” based mostly on listening habits and the most well-liked playlists among the many whole Spotify viewers.

Right here’s an ideal diagram that visually represents the method:

personalized marketing examples, Discover weekly algorithm

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As a lot as I take advantage of Spotify — which is near each day — I’ve by no means bothered listening to my Uncover Weekly playlist. So, I took it for a spin.

personalized marketing examples, Inside Spotify app

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The outcomes had been hit-or-miss. Whereas it thrilled me to find a number of nice songs that I plan to take heed to once more, many songs on my customized playlist felt “meh.”

That mentioned, these behind Uncover Weekly acknowledge that personalization isn’t an ideal science. Additionally they have recommendations for the right way to make it higher, like including the Uncover Weekly songs you wish to your library or skipping these you dislike.

For example, “If customers fast-forward throughout the first 30 seconds of a track,” Spotify Product Director Matthew Ogle and Engineering Manager Edward Newett said, “The Uncover Weekly algorithm interprets that as a thumbs-down for that track and artist.”

The Takeaway

Most personalization initiatives won’t be excellent. Even with an ideal algorithm, they’re, at greatest, very educated guesses about what’s going to use to your clients.

For that purpose, it is perhaps greatest to take a conservative method to your suggestions, particularly within the earliest levels of your personalization efforts.

That is an space the place small-batch testing may be useful. Once you need to check out a personalization mission or algorithm, determine your most lively customers and invite them to pilot the expertise.

Pay attention rigorously to their suggestions — good and dangerous — and see what you are able to do to make it higher.

Spotify continues to emphasise the significance of personalization on its platform. In 2023, the corporate introduced that it could be launching a merch hub.

Right here, avid listeners will get suggestions on merchandise based mostly on their listening habits. That’s nice in case you’re trying to purchase cool band tees.

personalized marketing examples, Inside Spotify app

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9. ProWritingAid

Person information is core to the advertising and marketing personalization technique at ProWritingAid. As a free or premium consumer, you obtain a weekly electronic mail from ProWritingAid with this topic line — Your Achievements Final Week.

personalized marketing examples, Prowritingaid email

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ProWritingAid can ship this electronic mail as a result of they monitor writing on a number of units and platforms. Additionally they know the variety of grammar and elegance recommendations you accepted and even your most lively writing days.

Past personalization, one other aim of this electronic mail is to faucet into the group of customers. By together with a “click on to tweet” hyperlink, customers can share their progress on X (previously Twitter) and supply free PR for ProWritingAid.

The Takeaway

Knowledge is like unrefined oil to your model. In the event you run a SaaS enterprise and also you accumulate consumer information, take into consideration the way you’d refine that uncooked information and use it to personalize the expertise of your customers.

Take into account it like a “assist me provide help to” state of affairs.

Prospects subscribe to your product as a result of they need assistance with particular duties. Utilizing the information they supply, you possibly can assist them know the way they’re faring and spotlight alternatives for enchancment.

That’s the kind of motion that may make a model exceptional, fuel-free PR, and earn you new enterprise.

10. Netflix

Netflix takes customized advertising and marketing critically, and they’re extraordinarily good at it. Utilizing AI and Machine Studying, Netflix displays and analyzes the flicks and reveals that customers watch, constantly work together with, and charge.

The matching share (in inexperienced font) beside every program’s title reveals how a lot a film or present could enchantment to a consumer. For me, Netflix nails this very nicely. However the personalization technique of Netflix doesn’t finish in-app.

personalized marketing examples, Netflix app showing 99% match

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Netflix additionally sends customized emails to re-engage its customers. These distinctive emails inform customers about reveals or films that match their preferences.

personalized marketing examples, Netflix reengagement email

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The Takeaway

Buyer expertise must be central to your model. Every little thing Netflix does is to make every consumer comfortable by predicting the content material {that a} consumer could like.

Whereas we are able to’t attribute Netflix’s steady revenue growth since 2013 solely to its customized advertising and marketing technique, there’s no gainsaying that it’s an ideal contributor.

11. OpenTable

OpenTable is a real-time on-line reservation community that helps eating places run smoother shifts, fill seats, flip company into regulars, and create and promote eating experiences. This enterprise requires customized advertising and marketing to thrive.

Like Netflix, OpenTable has found out the right way to know its clients so it will probably ship customized content material to them. See this electronic mail, as an illustration:

personalized marketing examples, OpenTable email

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Any buyer who receives this electronic mail is prone to test it out. Why?

  • They’ve used OpenTable earlier than
  • They know the e-mail is for them
  • They consider OpenTable is aware of their preferences

Within the uncommon case {that a} consumer doesn’t like OpenTable’s suggestions, the ultimate call-to-action (Discover Your Desk) turns out to be useful.

The Takeaway

Don’t add extra work to a buyer’s plate. The much less work a buyer does, the higher. Think about a buyer wading via 52,000+ eating places. That’s not possible.

The place attainable, use your clients’ information to assist them out. Be taught and use their preferences to create customized suggestions. It will provide help to scale back the timeline to your buyer to purchase a services or products.

Do that, and you could have extra income within the bag.

12. Safeway for U

Customized advertising and marketing isn’t nearly placing the suitable merchandise in entrance of buyers. You want ways to get them to purchase.

That’s the place customized coupons are available. If a consumer sees that an merchandise they like has a particular sale, they’re extra seemingly so as to add it to their cart.

Let’s check out Safeway, a grocery retailer with over 240 shops within the U.S. The enterprise has an app known as Safeway for U. On the retailer; customers can scan barcodes that provide particular reductions. From there, the app learns about consumers’ preferences.

Safeway can then notify clients when a product they’d like is out there, personalizing the advertising and marketing expertise.

The Takeaway

When personalizing your advertising and marketing technique, search for alternatives to focus on coupons to the suitable viewers. Personalization means that you can goal probably the most compelling gives to the suitable viewers.

This will get buyers into the shop and the suitable merchandise into their cart.

13. Complain.biz

Complain.biz is a brand new on-line platform that helps shoppers file complaints in opposition to companies. The platform has a mission and perception that “shoppers should be heard and handled pretty by firms.”

In March 2023, the model launched an AI complaint letter generator (powered by GPT-4) that personalizes and facilitates grievance submitting based mostly on hundreds of profitable examples.

This service empowers shoppers to mail well-written grievance letters to an organization’s headquarters.

The shock? Complain.biz doesn’t ship emails. They ship conventional paper mail, which is vetted by a human skilled.

personalized marketing examples, Complaint biz product page

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The Takeaway

The revolutionary GPT-4 expertise presents new alternatives to serve shoppers higher. For example, at HubSpot, we’re growing our content assistant and ChatSpot, that are powered by AI.

Whereas this protects time and value, sacrificing personalization to over-rely on AI might not be greatest. Complain.biz understands this, and that’s why they leverage AI to enhance (and NOT change) human intelligence.

Alternatives exist to offer shoppers with priceless customized experiences utilizing AI. As a enterprise chief, the onus is on you to look deep into your small business to seek out how AI can assist you create nice customer experiences.

14. Alibaba

Alibaba is a well-liked ecommerce large that used the Ling Shou Tong initiative to reinvent comfort shops in China.

LST is a partnership program between Alibaba and conventional mom-and-pop shops that goals to modernize and digitize.

Amongst different advantages of this program, members had entry to the Ling Shou Tong app, which helped retailer homeowners automate their stock administration.

The app works by suggesting a listing of products most probably to promote based mostly on every retailer’s gross sales information.

Manufacturers like Mondelez, the homeowners of Oreos and different standard snacks, additionally benefited from this analytic information.

By counting on shopper insights gathered in these shops, Mondelez launched a single Oreo package deal that focused clients who need reasonably priced snacks.

LST has helped increase Alibaba’s offline attain and strengthen its model recognition. As of the summer time of 2019, 1.3 million of the 6 million comfort shops had adopted the LST initiative.

personalized marketing examples, Alibaba - Store in China

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The Takeaway

Accenture consulting rightly describes LST as an innovative disruptor. Upon nearer examination, LST is just customized advertising and marketing utilized to B2B retail. Nothing extra.

On reflection, the genius of the LST initiative is clear, as nobody was doing it on the time.

This prompts the query: What probably disruptive concepts are hiding in your small business information? As Michael Simmons remarks, nice alternatives for progress and enchancment are sometimes “sitting proper in entrance of us…however we are able to’t see.”

How will you uncover extra of those invisible alternatives? There’s no simple reply to that. However one suggestion is to lean into Simon Sinek’s “Begin With Why” philosophy.

As Simon describes in his book, nice concepts usually emerge if you’re maniacally dedicated to bettering the lives of your clients.

Get Private

One of many elementary functions of any personalization effort is to let your clients know you’re listening to them.

However, placing a steadiness between “we expect you would possibly discover this useful” and “we’re watching you” isn’t a easy course of. You should definitely do cautious analysis, planning, and testing earlier than leaping into any large-scale customization initiatives.

Keep in mind that whilst you is perhaps a marketer, you’re additionally a shopper. With experiments like these, put your self into the footwear of the client and ask, “Is that this pleasant? Or is that this creepy?”

If it leans towards the latter, discover out what’s giving it that vibe, and check out one thing completely different.

Editor’s Observe: This publish was initially printed in December 2013 and has was up to date for comprehensiveness in November 2019.

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