Commentary

Personalization At Scale: Creating Moments that Matter

”Personalization” is ubiquitous in marketing today so how do you know if and when it is effective and — even more important — how to grow and keep your customers close.

At The Farmer’s Dog, ”growth is how we retain our customers,” Adrian Evans, Growth Marketing Manager, told Thursday’s MediaPost Brand Insider Summit in Austin. “We’re a very retention-first business. Plus, we get more dog pics!”

The brand began by noticing that, in the general market, dog food is advertised with delicious-looking meat and vegetables but it ends up looking like brown balls. It decided to create and sell dog food that truly has meat and vegetables in it and to customize it to each dog.

Its slogan, “Every dog could live its best life,” means something different for every person and dog, Evans, said. "That’s where personalization comes into play. It is one small part of how you build a personal relationship.” As for scale, he asked, “How can you have truly unique relationships with millions of people?” And answered, “With moments that matter. A moment is an opportunity to build a relationship. It matter not just to consumer but to you as a brand.”

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To take the weight off personalization at scale, pick some moments that are really important, he suggested. At The Farmer’s Dog, each package of food has the dog’s name, portion size, the name of the human who ordered it and the date it was cooked on.

Then, the brand follows up with a text to ask if everything is okay. “These are underrated touchpoints,” said Evans. ”It plants the seed in our customers that, oh, there’s someone who cares as much about my dog as I do.”

The reaction? “People go crazy knowing there is someone who cares about their dog. One customer wrote a long email about an employee named Matt, saying the family calls him ‘Uncle Matt.’ After a year or two, people see us as family. They see us as true friends and allies. It gets exciting. Find  the touchpoints that really matter, and do them effectively.”

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