Several marcus evans Customer Segmentation Conference sessions addressed customizing experiences. Some highlights follow from two of them.

Edward Gala, VP of Corporate Marketing Services at Xerox, began his presentation covering a range of customization applications: personalized M&M’s, Heinz ketchup labels, and the recent “Obama losing by one vote” video. This emailed video effectively combines customization and viral elements to challenge the recipient to vote and avoid the result depicted: a news story reporting a one-vote Barack Obama loss traced to the video recipient’s failure to get to the polls.

Within the video, there are several appearances of the recipient’s name in newspapers, TV headlines, and even in a goat herder’s frightened reaction to a McCain win. It makes effective use of an experience memorability model that seeks to maximize personal interest (it’s forwarded by a friend, personal challenge to vote), experience intensity (surprising personalization, humor, anticipation), and a brand’s connection as the experience enabler (frequent references to Barack Obama).

This novel customization approach can trigger all kinds of ideas for applying it in other ways.

On the opening day, John Carroll, VP - Bottler Planning & Operations at Coca-Cola shared work they’re doing customizing and adapting retail store experiences:

  • Coca-Cola segments to the store level, identifying each store’s “unique DNA.” To coordinate strategies with retailers, Coca-Cola maps its store segments to a retailer’s store segments.
  • It’s also using shopping cart RFID to locate hot spots within a store based on movement patterns to isolate specific merchandising opportunities.
  • Similar to a case study from Simon Property Group at the CMO Summit earlier this year, retailers are increasingly being considered as media outlets based on their audience delivery opportunities.

John also offered three great overall take aways relative to segmentation:

  1. Don’t lose sight of your core business, even if you have to segment differently.
  2. Use as many insights as possible in developing and refining your segmentation.
  3. Make sure segmentation is simple, direct, and understandable.

This was a very content-rich event and tomorrow, we’ll wrap with some memorable quotes.