Summer Rerun: Mass Personalization: Walgreens' Road to Customer-Level Marketing

The pandemic lockdowns forced many traditional retailers to double down on ecommerce and omnichannel marketing…no, really, this time.

In many ways, Walgreens was already there. The brand had in place a robust, well-personalized digital channel for their customers. But when the company became a vital channel for the national vaccination push last year, the stakes for reaching both old and potential customers with just the right message at just the right time and place went sky-high. As Senior Director, Media Strategy & Planning Jennifer Peelle outlined recently at MediaPost’s Retail Brand insider Summit, it called for “personalization at scale.”

Which is to say, Walgreens needed to personalize at every touchpoint, including predictive modeling that can target and plan media according to unprecedented profile points, like different kinds of vaccination aversion. It is a remarkable tale that involved data reorganization, shifting KPIs away from mere sales goals, and a very real internal cultural shift. 

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