Ahold Delhaize Makes Personalization a Priority

At the 2017 Shopper Marketing Summit, Amy Hahn, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Ahold Delhaize, presented “Bringing Fresh Inspiration Every Day.” In her presentation, she discussed one of the most significant ways in which Ahold Delhaize is delivering on their initiative to deliver fresh inspiration daily to their customers—personalized content.

“It’s a huge, huge opportunity for us,” Hahn said. “Every day we’re marrying marketing and technology,” said Hahn.

Hahn explained some of the methods Ahold Delhaize has applied to integrate personalization across channels, including having their retailer chains send regular emails with personally relevant digital coupons based on past purchase behavior, which in turn encourages shoppers to download the chain’s mobile application. The emails also highlight particular items from the retailer chain’s weekly circular, based on the individual’s shopping history. This is but one example of how Ahold Delhaize is leveraging loyalty data to create more meaningful relationships with their increasingly diverse shoppers and provide them with the most relevant information and offers.

Below are two other examples that illustrate the opportunity retailers and CPGs are finding in individually personalized offers:

• Kroger is applying advanced analytics tools to volumes of customer data and tailing offers to customers based on their actual shopping behavior and history. Regular customers at Kroger are now redeeming nearly half the coupons the retailer sends out, which is far higher than the average trend of 1 % to 3 % redemption.
• Target applied advanced customer analytics to perfect a “pregnancy prediction” model. By correlating customers’ shopping patterns with their market basket, the retailer was able to successfully identify customers who were pregnant. Acting on this data, the company offered coupons and promotions targeted at customers at various stages of their pregnancy. Between 2002 and 2010, Target’s sales in the Mother and Baby product categories went up and revenues grew from $44 billion to $67 billion.

Getting personalization right, however, depends on being able to analyze and use big data effectively, for if Target got their “pregnancy prediction” wrong, that would’ve been a major personalization fail. McKinsey says that companies using big data and analytics effectively show productivity rates and profitability that is 6% higher than those of their competitors. Their study also says that those companies that put data at the center of their marketing and sales decisions improve their marketing return on investment by up to 20%. Often times, however, CPG brands struggle to get the in-store sales data they need from their retail partners. In such cases, there are many other effective ways to collect data on your customers, such as embedding technology into your website or mobile app to analyze user behavior, content preferences and drivers of engagement. The mobile, social and digital spheres, where the majority of brand-consumer interactions now take place, all provide new avenues for shoppers to share their opinions and perceptions of products and in turn, new opportunities for CPGs to collect and leverage data.

Brands should start small with personalization by using whatever data they can garner from their website, email, social, e-commerce or mobile app engagement, including location, referral, device type, time of day and click-through data, with click-through data giving way to product interest insights. Over time, as you create compelling and targeted content that delivers value to your audiences and earns their trust, you can begin to incorporate surveys, naturally weaved into your content marketing strategy, that serve to collect additional product interest, lifestyle and demographic data.

New technologies have put the power to choose and review products squarely into the hands of consumers, making personalization capability no longer a differentiating factor for CPGs and retailers, but a necessity for staying in the game and for creating brand advocates that can support brand equity and social influence across media.

If you are faced with barriers to personalization, whether it be an inflexible CMS platform or limited available budget, data or human resource, Cierant can help. We are specialized in helping organizations overcome the barriers of personalization adoption with our unique mix of data management services, personalization technology and program implementation support that makes integration both simple and affordable. To see how Cierant can kickstart your organization’s personalized shopper engagement program, please call 203-731-3555 or email inquiries@cierant.com. We would be happy to provide you with a complimentary personalization consultation.

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