Personalization key to localizing global brands

Prioritizing personalized advertising is an effective strategy to keep brands top-of-mind for consumers, and retailers can level up their personalized advertising by leaning into video.

What this means: When the U.S. retail market was dominated by regional brands, building retail environments around local communities was inherent in the retail DNA. As mergers and expansions took over in the late 1990s and early 2000s, single-name banners and enterprises became the norm for many sectors of retail, particularly in general merchandise and grocery. However, while single name brands create efficiencies and broad strokes strategies, the industry shifted away from specializing in local communities. The industry is at a crossroads once again, and even large retail corporations are beginning to understand that maximizing local opportunities and personalizing services and assortments are key to winning.

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Major retail chains use advertising to reach the masses, but in some instances, this makes it difficult to connect with niche audiences and make customers feel seen. Consumers are not one homogenous group. Different preferences on products, price points and shopping experiences shape the way each consumer approaches a purchase. So, how can big retailers convince customers their brand can still provide a focused and relevant experience?

The answer lies in coupling an understanding of consumer needs and behaviors with the right personalized advertising strategy. Personalized advertising is an effective strategy to keep brands top-of-mind for consumers, and video advertising can be leveraged to drive results.

Why personalized advertising?

Personalized advertising shows the consumer that the retailer understands their wants and needs. Personalized advertising is key for any retailer looking to boost sales, improve ROI and increase customer loyalty. Almost 71% of consumers expect personalization, and 76% of consumers become frustrated when they don’t find personalization from the brands and businesses with which they choose to work, according to McKinsey

Luckily for retailers, technological advances have made personalization much more commonplace and accessible. Incorporating personalization into advertising can be as simple as adjusting the city name called out in ad creative or as complex as designing an entire targeting strategy to meet the consumer exactly where they are in the purchase cycle.

Personalization benefits retailers of all sizes

Personalization is crucial for retailers of all sizes, but it is especially important for large retailers with a vast customer base. Big box retailers are a go-to for many consumers due to convenience and affordability, but their sheer size can sometimes make the customer experience feel impersonal. Even smaller retailers with a regional focus should prioritize personalization to show customers that they are understood and valued.

Personalization is also a powerful tool that can increase brand consideration and purchase intent. McKinsey found 76% of consumers reported that personalized messaging played a key role in their consideration of a brand and 78% said such content made them more likely to repurchase in the future. 

Repurchasing can lead to brand loyalty, which is increasingly important in today's economic climate. In 2022, 62% of customers said a brand would lose their loyalty if they did not deliver a personalized experience, which was up 38% from the previous year, according to a survey by Twilio. It's more cost effective for retailers to retain existing customers than to find new ones, making personalization an important pillar in any retailer’s advertising strategy.

The various forms of personalization

Personalization in advertising takes various forms. It can involve adjusting the look and feel of the ad unit to suit consumers' aesthetic preferences, or including specific information that is most relevant to them, such as relevant promotions or products. 

Some examples of personalized advertising include highlighting local deals and promotions, including the city or designated market area (DMA) name or displaying the nearest store locations. Personalized advertising can also include suggesting the best purchasing method — online, buy online pickup in store, in-store, etc. — highlighting specific products of interest, recommending products based on recent browsing history or displaying products available at their nearest location.

Meeting the consumer 

Another critical element of personalization involves tailoring messaging and information to consumers at different stages of the purchase cycle. For new customers, the focus should be on providing information about the closest location and purchasing options, as well as showcasing the best-selling products across various categories. On the other hand, for repeat customers, retailers should utilize their customer relationship management data to personalize the message and offer exclusive rewards or notify them of sales on products they've purchased previously.

By personalizing ads, retailers can reduce barriers and friction in the purchase cycle, making it easier for consumers to access the information they need and increasing the likelihood of a purchase. This not only helps drive repeat business, but also narrows the gap between consideration and purchase.

Using video to deliver personalized experiences

Personalized advertising is a complex process that requires developing unique creatives for each audience, making it difficult to execute. However, advances in dynamic capabilities have made personalization much more achievable with minimal effort. Advertisers can use various data inputs to tailor messaging and adjust individual pieces of the creative. Tapping into existing application programming interfaces is a helpful way to convey the right message or product to the right user at the right time.

Retailers can also level up their personalized advertising by leaning into video. Research by has shown that video advertising drives greater brand opinion and consideration, monthly transactions and revenue per transaction. 

Personalized videos can speak directly to consumers, such as showcasing the latest local promotions to deal seekers or demonstrating how quickly products are shipped to a frequent online shopper. By tailoring the advertising experience to each customer, retailers can increase sales and foster stronger customer loyalty. 

Using dynamic advertising techniques, retailers can make the most efficient use of their media budget, which is especially important in today's challenging economic climate. When thoughtfully executed, personalization can be a key driver of success for retailers looking to stand out in a crowded market.

What’s next: Retailers with store fleets have the challenge of creating agile store environments and layouts that allow for this type of personalization for regional opportunities. Retailers need to focus on creating the right store for a community instead of just looking at opening or closing doors.

Marly Sohr
Marly Sohr

About the author

As lead of industry solutions for retail, Marly Sohr works with’s retail vertical team to develop strategic CTV and digital advertising solutions for retail brands.

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