By now, marketers understand the importance of personalization, and most brands aim to provide consumers with highly curated experiences whenever possible. But it’s not just up to the brand—personalization is only as effective as the data that drives it. Sandro Roco, director of strategic initiatives at Bombfell, a subscription style box delivery service for men, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about the key role customer input plays in personalization efforts.
eMarketer: What’s the brand story Bombfell is hoping to convey to customers?
Sandro Roco: We want our customers to think of us as a vending machine. They’re standing in front of it and they say, “I want a great pair of jeans that fit the exact contours of my body.” Then they press 1, and a pair comes down and fits perfectly. We want to deliver that seamless experience in the style boxes our customers receive.
eMarketer: What obstacles are standing in the way of telling that brand story?
Roco: It’s a lofty promise to deliver. If a consumer wants to buy the cheapest set of batteries, they go on Amazon.com and they’ve got it. Fashion is more subjective. Customers expect personalized experiences, but these experiences require input and investment from them. There’s only so much data we can gather—we either have to make them understand that they have to give up more data on themselves, or we have to find innovative ways to get that data more seamlessly.“Customers expect personalized experiences, but these experiences require input and investment from them.”
eMarketer: What kind of personalization or segmentation do you use for your marketing programs?
Roco: For email, we get some initial cues from the questions we ask when customers sign up. One of the first questions we ask is why they’re signing up for our service, which gives us an important signal.
For example, if someone signs up because he’s "too busy to shop," then he’s interested in convenience and having clothes that fit his lifestyle. But other customers are interested in the educational aspect of fashion, so our stylists tailor their messaging to highlight key points about the clothes or give them pairing suggestions.
eMarketer: Do you use personas or segments to communicate with consumers, or are you able to achieve one-to-one personalization?
Roco: We've built three customer personas. It’s a broad bucket, but as time goes on, we get a really good sense of who each customer is personally. While personas might be helpful at first, as we build the relationship and interact through more touchpoints, we can deliver more one-to-one personalization.