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Julia Manoukian


January 31, 2018

Bringing Personalization At Scale To Experiences: 3 Brands That Raised The Bar

Julia Manoukian

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You hear about marketing personalization as it applies to digital marketing, but you might not know that this trend applies to experiential marketing as well. While the logistics of accomplishing scalable personalization in a live environment is difficult, you benefit from standing out in your industry and offering a unique customer experience to your audience. Here are a few brands that are already pulling off this outstanding strategy.

TAM Airlines

Customers might be used to personalized marketing when they're browsing websites, but not necessarily when they're up in the air. Here, TAM Airlines leveraged information from each passenger's Facebook profile to create a personalized in-flight magazine.

They went beyond simply putting the name and picture of the passenger on this publication, though. They actually tailored the articles, advertisements and offers to the tastes of each person. Airline Trends reported that this live experience was an unexpected delight and a hit among passengers, who all took their personalized issues with them.

The lesson here is to leverage all sources of data available for your potential audience. You don't need to collect this information from scratch when it's readily available from third-parties. Social media, for example, gives you a window into their thoughts and feelings, which you can use to tailor the overall experience.


Starbucks leverages many innovative marketing campaigns to encourage brand loyalty and to bring in new coffee drinkers. One way that it incorporates scaling personalization into its live experiences is through a gamified app.

Users get an interactive experience that they may play anytime, whether they're waiting in line for more coffee or doing other tasks. All of the interactions get logged and used for personalizing their overall experience through offers, promotions and other tactics. This approach drives more brand loyalty and keeps the coffee giant top of mind among its target demographic.

Interactive content with a gamification approach leads to a lot of engagement and actionable information about your customers. You give them a fun and valuable experience, and they reward you with data that you can use to make the entire purchase process better.

Disney MagicBands

Disney is well-known for its service mindset, and its marketing group has now combined live marketing campaigns with the relatively new MagicBands. These bands are smart devices that enable visitors to get into their hotel rooms, get on rides and make purchases. This data is used as the basis of personalized offers that can enhance their experience during the visit, as well as make it possible to customize future events.

The world runs on the customer experience, and few organizations know how to nail it quite like Disney. It doesn't matter what industry you operate in; you can learn a few lessons from the Magic Kingdom.

This method works so well because it eliminates barriers that stand between the audience and the product. Guests don't even need their wallets if they see enticing personalized marketing, since the smart device handles it for them.

How to Implement Personalization in Live Marketing

Now that you see the various ways brands scale their live marketing, it's time to think about how it would work for your business. The most important thing to consider is that you need to eliminate manual tasks as much as possible. The more hands-on labor you need, the harder it is to scale the personalization.

You can use experiential and live marketing software to identify personalization opportunities at every consumer touchpoint from everything from registration, the landing pages they interact with and the post-event communication they receive. More personalization means happier consumers who keep coming back for more.

Go through some trial and error when you brainstorm ways to personalize your live experiences in a sustainable fashion. If you're an auto dealership, for example, you may be able to use social media information to outfit selected cars with a prospective buyer's favorite colors or offer them a snack that they like when you're talking numbers.

When you're exhibiting at a trade show, you can use a similar tactic to find out the most important priorities for a B2B buyer when it comes to your product category.

The point here is to think outside the box when optimizing your experiential, live and in-person marketing efforts. Scaling the in-person experience may be more difficult than doing the same thing with your digital experience, but the work will be worth it when you see how engaged the customer is with a highly relevant experience. It's no wonder one in three marketers believe physical activations are the "single-most effective" marketing channel over digital advertising, email and even content marketing.

Take the time to look at your one-on-one marketing interactions with an eye for scale. You may discover prime marketing opportunities that you would never have thought about before.

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