Harnessing the Potential of Personalization for Grocers


Personalization has been a game-changer for the consumer goods sector lately. From increasing return on ad spending, to helping marketers navigate a disjointed, changing media landscape, effective personalization is now a major part of standing out to consumers.  

For a grocer to devise a successful personalization strategy, they’ll need planning, targeting, activation, measurement and optimization. In this post, we’ll examine these 5 disciplines. 

1. Planning

The first step to a successful personalization strategy requires effective planning and this happens in four layers; data planning, audience planning, media planning and measurement planning.

The best personalization strategies are built on a foundation of high-quality data. So, marketers should evaluate shopper data carefully for data planning. This includes data evaluation based on source and collection techniques, frequency and consistency, and finally validated versus modeled data.

Audience planning starts with a simple question that’s sometimes difficult to answer; what is the high-value shopper group the grocer wishes to impact and activate?

Customer data affords insights on shopping habits, and this will help identify which shoppers to target with what message.

Once having named the high-value target audience, it’s time to implement media planning. Effective media planning centers on pinpointing which households are most responsive to media, and in what form, like mobile or television.

Measurement planning concludes this first step, and marketers should develop measurements for the effectiveness of different media outlets. This will help identify the highest-performing media programs, so that funds may be reallocated as necessary.    

 2. Targeting

Maximizing return on ad spend is a sign of an effective targeting strategy. And the first step in achieving an effective targeting strategy is naming the purpose of the campaign, and the objective for the brand. Next, build audiences around the objectives, so the target audiences match the purpose of the campaign. It’s also important that marketers match their content to their target audiences.

Finally, there’s managing the impression frequency between audiences, namely the exposure and reminders between lapsed and heavy buyers, while also measuring and optimizing the campaign in real time. A measurement provider should be able to offer solutions for optimizing performance, while the campaign is still live.

Targeting is highly effective but it’s not a one-and-done process. Marketers should use knowledge from past campaign target audience variables to drive and strengthen future campaigns.

 3. Activation

In-flight optimization, a key part of shopper activation, is the ability to adjust campaign elements, while the campaign is live. In the past, marketers went months before receiving negative performance, but today they can have campaign reads in as little as four weeks with IFO. This empowers marketers to rescue campaigns, and even shoppers, through course-correction.

Earlier performance data can reveal a mix of audience groups – consumers that purchased within a week and those who didn’t. By using IFO and 100% deterministic audience targets (targets based on actual purchases), marketers can reallocate impressions to activate these shopper groups. 

4. Measurement

To reiterate a point from the previous three steps; measurement no longer happens exclusively at the end of a campaign or sales quarter. Instead, measurement is an ongoing process for every aspect and activity, every step of the way.

Unified Marketing Measurement, a recent innovation in measurement techniques, combines marketing mix modeling and attribution to afford retailers the insights needed to make strategic decisions by way of four performance cornerstones; accuracy, speed, granularity and ongoing course correction.

5. Optimization

In today’s digital age, marketers across the consumer sector are increasingly gaining access to data science tools. This is important because the most powerful way to achieve optimization is through AI-powered analytics. From reducing manual tasks, to making decisions more quickly, AI is drastically impacting retailer marketing.

Moreover, AI can be integrated in each of the above steps to enhance personalization.

For planning, AI can analyze shopper data, audience data, media data and measurement data to uncover high-value data that may have previously gone unnoticed. On targeting, AI complements verified purchase data by identifying details about shoppers, and any additional needs, to recommend strategies for lapsed shoppers. AI can increase the speed of IFO for activation, and it can also accelerate Unified Marketing Measurement for optimization.

AI is changing the way marketers develop, execute and measure campaigns. Considering the increasing importance of personalization to grocers, easily accessible AI-powered analytics have come just in time.


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