March 11, 2018


The Personalization Revolution: When The World Revolves Around YOU

“Welcome back, Mr. Hyken. I see that you stayed in room 710 the last time you were here. That’s a nice corner room overlooking the city. Would you like that room again?” How nice to get a friendly, thoughtful welcome – and to be recognized.

The above interaction between me and a hotel front-desk clerk has happened numerous times. Some hotels have a system that remembers their loyal guests, to the point of not only room numbers, but special requests such as non-allergenic pillows, king or double beds, and much more. All that is easy with a basic customer relationship management (CRM) software program that helps employees track customers’ history.

And that is the start of personalization: helping, selling, and talking to customers about them; creating an experience that’s just for them and no one else; recognizing them and making relevant suggestions that you wouldn’t make to others, and appreciating them for their past business. A hotel clerk who recognizes a guest they’ve never met, but who has stayed at the hotel in the past, is a good start to personalization, but there’s so much more to reaping the benefits of this powerful concept.



While most personalization in the past has been through one-to-one in-person experiences, it has moved to the digital world with amazing results.

Any of us who shop on have received a personalized experience. When Amazon recommends items based on your past purchases, that’s personalization. When you’re trying to select a movie on Netflix and you get suggestions based on the shows and movies you’ve watched in the past, that’s personalization. When you receive an advertising message that seems to come just at the right time (How did they know?), that’s personalization.

In 2017, Gartner published an analysis titled “Crawl, Walk, Run: Define Your Vision and Roadmap for Personalization” by Kirsten Newbold-Knipp. The report states that by 2018, organizations that have invested in the full spectrum of online personalization will outsell companies that have not by more than 30%.

But the concept of personalization didn’t start last year. Back in 1993, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., published “The One to One Future.” The authors predicted that the future of marketing would focus on individual customers versus mass messaging. Today, thanks to the power of machine learning, personalization has come to the forefront as a powerful marketing strategy that delivers a better customer experience at the individual level.

That brings us to Evergage, a company that uses advanced machine learning to help their clients understand and interact with each customer and visitor, giving them an experience that is relevant and individualized. They literally wrote the book on personalization, with a first-ever industry publication, “One-to-One Personalization in the Age of Machine Learning” by Evergage’s CEO Karl Wirth and Content Marketing Manager Katie Sweet.

I connected with Evergage, and Wirth shared some tips and highlights from the book on delivering personalized experiences.

  1. The Power of Machine Learning: Technology has come a long way and caught up with the concept of one-to-one messaging and personalization. With machine learning, computers process huge amounts of data in milliseconds and make decisions to show the customer.
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