Webinar recap: 5 stories that prove the power of personalisation

Hear real-life success stories from top retail brands such as Sony PlayStation, Argos, Marks & Spencer, and Halfords to showcase the transformative potential of personalisation.

29 September 2023



In the fast-paced world of customer marketing, one term has consistently remained in the limelight for over a decade – personalisation. It’s not just a buzzword; it’s a cornerstone of modern marketing strategy. But what do we really mean by personalisation, and how can it be harnessed to achieve measurable results?

In our recent webinar, “Five Stories that Prove the Power of Personalisation”, we delved into the heart of this matter, exploring real-life success stories from top retail brands such as Sony PlayStation, Argos, Marks & Spencer, and Halfords to showcase the transformative potential of personalisation.

The webinar commenced with Stuart Russell, Chief Strategy Officer at Planning-inc, underscoring that personalisation isn’t a novel concept. The idea of delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time is a tried and true marketing mantra. In today’s world, consumers expect brands to leverage their data to provide relevant and valuable interactions, thanks to giants like Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon setting high standards. Yet, many businesses struggle to achieve personalisation, with 43% of B2C customer marketing leaders feeling their efforts lack sophistication, as revealed in our recent study.

The primary culprits behind these challenges are data fragmentation and connectivity issues, often stemming from siloed data. This makes it difficult for businesses to access and integrate data, hindering their ability to offer personalised experiences.

To shed light on these issues, several of Planning-inc’s Account Directors shared impactful case studies on the effective use of personalisation.

Sony PlayStation: Personalised Newsletters Across 54 Countries

Louise Bergman Pelerin, Account Director for Sony PlayStation, presented a compelling case of personalisation on a global scale. Sony aimed to boost digital store sales by infusing personalisation into their generic weekly newsletters, which are sent to millions of customers across 54 countries.

Louise shed light on the systems in play to achieve effective personalisation from collaboration and agile processes to meticulous planning. The result? A 30% increase in engagement and store visits.

Argos: Personalised Product Recommendations

The Argos case study demonstrated the power of personalised product recommendations. Paul Rice, Account Director for Argos, emphasised how these recommendations drive higher conversion rates and relevance at various stages of the customer journey.

What sets Argos’ recommendations apart is their fully-connected Single Customer View maintained by Planning-inc, enabling nuance at scale based on extensive customer data. While product recommendations are a familiar concept, many businesses struggle to activate the full breadth of their first-party data to generate these recommendations, often due to data integration challenges. Hence, Argos’s proactive approach demonstrates their forward-thinking stance and commitment to innovation in CRM.

M&S: Email Personalisation for Dynamic Engagement

M&S’s journey involved personalising their weekly mailings while remaining agile in responding to shifting demands. Aneliese Jones, Account Director for M&S, detailed the use of predictive models to tailor email content to individual preferences, resulting in higher engagement and increased revenue. The M&S case study serves as a testament to the seamless execution of Planning-inc’s Category Affinity Model, implemented effectively through unification of customer data.

Stuart further underscored the importance of leveraging existing processes and resources, highlighting that M&S harnessed their pre-existing content infrastructure to achieve a 20% engagement upswing—a valuable lesson in content-driven personalisation.

M&S International: Future Value Model for Personalised Offers

Further building on the predictive analytics story, Aneliese highlighted M&S International’s use of Planning-inc’s Future Value Model.

M&S International wanted to enhance customer retention and optimise marketing expenditure across diverse markets. To achieve this, they tested different promotional strategies tailored to distinct customer segments using Future Value scoring as a framework.

These test led to unexpected insights, enabling M&S International to refine their offer strategies to drive incremental revenue across segments, all while personalising experiences for customers. Their approach not only enhances personalisation but also aids in the strategic allocation of resources, aligning offers with customer behaviour.

Halfords: Personalisation at its Core

Halfords introduced the Halfords Motoring Club, a loyalty program centred on personalisation. By automating analysis and delivering tailored messages and real-time experiences to its members, the program significantly increased frequency by more than 140% in the first year. This success story serves as an exemplary model for businesses exploring loyalty programs with a focus on personalisation and multi-channel engagement. With our research suggesting that customers are crying out for personalised relevant offers and content, Halfords has nailed the customer-first mantra of delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time.


If you have questions or want to learn more, get in touch. Our solutions experts would be happy to discuss your business’s personalisation efforts and provide tailored insights.

📣 The State of Customer Data report is here!

Benchmark your brand’s data and marketing sophistication against the market. 

Access the report