All Articles Food Consumer Insights A strategic approach to using personalized marketing messages

A strategic approach to using personalized marketing messages

Brands can see success by creating customized marketing programs targeted at niche audiences.

4 min read

Consumer Insights

A strategic approach to using personalized marketing messages


Most businesses — whether they’re large or small — want to bring their messages to larger audiences. But carpet-bombing the general population isn’t a good use of a company’s time or money. Instead, the more strategic approach for many firms is to micro-target their marketing messages to the right audiences.

Beverage brand Sparkling Ice recently launched a marketing campaign aimed at specific consumer segments, while online grocer Peapod says it uses customer data and geographic targeting to better tailor its messages to the right audiences. Restaurant chains like CKE Restaurants Holdings and Taco Bell have also released marketing programs targeted at specific consumer segments.

The benefits of such programs are vast, says Denise Indovina, vice president of new business development with Ultimate Data. “When a consumer receives any marketing message, they first ask themselves, ‘Does this pertain to me? Does it resonate? Is it relevant?’ If so, they are more likely to engage with that message.”

Targeted marketing requires multipronged approach

Creating a tailored, customized marketing program requires several layers, Indovina says. First,  the right individuals must be targeted — meaning those consumers who are most likely to need that product. Second, ensuring that the message, offer and creative are well-suited to that consumer.

“In the case of a quick service restaurant, this means finding their best customers and top prospects that reside within close proximity to the location and offering them a promotion they would be excited to receive,” she says. “For a CPG brand, it might mean working with a grocery retailer on a shopper marketing initiative to bring known users of a specific brand into that retailer’s local store to buy, rather than having them buy it from the retailer where they traditionally shop for it. For a grocery retailer, this may mean using data from a trusted third party to more quickly personalize offers sent to new loyalty program participants for which a robust purchase history is not yet available in the retailer’s CRM database.”

Pinpoint where to find the audience

When evaluating how to find an audience for a targeted marketing campaign, ensure that both existing customers and potential new ones are included in the program, Indovina says. In both cases, data mining, profiling and selects (demographic, etc.) are the basic ways to find the audience, she advises. “Predictive analytics, machine learning and AI are the newest generation. For current customers, tools can be applied internally on customer relationship management/house files, either with internal resources or outside help.”

When aiming the marketing at prospective customers, using tools from trusted, external third-party partners can be key to finding the right audience, she advises.

Set measurement criteria early

Companies that create targeted marketing campaigns must put measurement tactics in place so they can compare the effectiveness of the programs against their other strategies, Indovina says. “Applying the most sophisticated advanced targeting and personalization tactics can deliver significant lift. We’ve had clients achieve a lift of 360 percent vs. benchmark and a five to one return on ad spending (ROAS) in the same campaign. Not everyone can get there, but that’s certainly something to aim toward.”

Campaign ROI can vary depending upon the objective of the campaign, the offer and media channel chosen, she reminds businesses. “While we’d always like to see a campaign pay out in and of itself, often times brands will use a 12-month payout hurdle. This is especially true when working to acquire a new high value consumer who will visit their restaurant, or buy their brand frequently, once they try it.”

Related stories:


If you enjoyed this article, sign up for GMA SmartBrief to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s food and travel newsletters as we offer more than 30 newsletters covering the food and travel industries from restaurants, food retail and food manufacturing to business travel, the airline and hotel industries and gaming.