Tag Archives: personalization

REI Mashes Up Rapid Response AND Personalization

Ekaterina Walter, Intel’s global social innovation strategist and author of the new book “Think Like Zuck,” writes in Fast Company about a great example of how a marketer can not only respond rapidly in social media but also deliver a personalized experience.

Walter sent a tweet to REI, the outdoor chain, asking for the best gift suggestion the company had for Christmas. She got a response in less than an hour.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The tweet included a video that REI custom made for Walter, featuring an REI employee addressing her by name and showing off the features of the gift the outdoor chain thought she’d like: a GoPro helmet camera.

After receiving the tweet, Walter interviewed REI’s social team and learned that the chain made about 90 custom videos during the campaign. (You can check out other videos on REI’s blog.) During that time, “referral traffic to REI’s site doubled,” Walter writes.

Could this rapid response and personalization have happened because some savvy REI social media staffer noticed Walter’s huge Twitter presence and realized that she’d talk about it? Possibly, maybe even probably. But that doesn’t diminish REI’s strategy. This company put time and effort into not just replying to a customer (or potential customer) on Twitter, but to put a personalized spin on it that made the response memorable, shareable and most important of all, it led to a sale.

Though Walter tells me she didn’t purchase the gift that REI suggested, she did make a different purchase and will consider REI above other brands next time she’s shopping.

Is Real Time Just Another Way of Describing the Personalization Trend?

Had lunch with a social media marketing exec for one of the nation’s top companies today, and I mentioned that I’ve been starting to look into real time as a research topic. She heard my description of real time as the intersection of social, mobile, location and big data, thought for a minute and said, “I think real time is interesting, but where I think things are headed is personalization.”

By that she meant using data (social, mobile, location and myriad other data) to deliver personalized marketing experiences just for you. So, is real time just a different way of saying “instant personalization”?

Things to ponder as I (and this blog) take a few days off for the holidays.