The Segment of One: How personalization and automation go together

Charlotte Malz
Head of Marketing, BSI

Individualized and automated customer communication is essential in modern marketing strategies – even if that may sound contradictory at first. But you can only deliver excellent customer experiences if you look at your customer as a Segment of One, an individual. Because by using a personalized approach at the right time and on the right channel, you get the full attention of prospects who feel well understood and cared for – and become your customers.

Key points

  • Personalization in marketing is necessary to achieve a great customer experience with specific and individualized customer communication – automation makes it possible.
  • For professional personalization and customer segmentation, you need sufficient customer data.
  • Use the Segment of One approach for targeted and individualized marketing campaigns along the entire customer journey.

Marketing Automation: Stärkere Kundenbindung durch One to One Marketing

Hand aufs Herz: Wissen Sie, wer Ihre Kunden sind? Kennen Sie die Bedürfnisse einzelner Kunden? Das sollten Sie! Gerade im digitalen Zeitalter, in dem die Kommunikation grösstenteils online über Mail-Kampagnen, Ads, Webseiten und Social Media stattfindet, sind Automation und Personalisierung im Marketing das optimale Team für die individuelle Kundenansprache.

Einerseits werden operative und wiederholbare Prozesse automatisiert, gleichzeitig lassen sich Marketing-Prozesse mit Customer Insights optimieren und individualisieren.

Ein Beispiel: Als Betreiber eines Webshops erfahren Sie dank Marketing Automation mehr über Ihre Kunden. Marketing-Automation-Systeme merken sich relevante Daten, wie etwa zu welcher Zeit der Besucher üblicherweise Ihren Online Shop besucht, ob ein erster oder wiederholter Besuch stattfindet und welches Endgerät genutzt wird. Aber auch Informationen über angesehene oder gesuchte Produkte konkretisieren das Bild Ihrer Kunden.

Je häufiger eine Kundin Ihren Onlineshop besucht, desto mehr erfahren Sie über ihre Interessen und Bedürfnisse. Mit diesem Wissen können Sie die Customer Experience mit individuellen Inhalten gestalten und die Kundin persönlich ansprechen.

Marketing automation: Increased customer loyalty through one-to-one marketing

Be honest, do you know who your customers are? Do you know the needs of individual customers? You should. In today’s digital age, where communication mainly occurs online through mail campaigns, ads, websites, and social media, automation and personalization in marketing are the ideal pairing to personalize your customer engagement.

While operational and repeatable processes are automated, marketing processes can at the same time be enhanced and personalized with customer insights.

An example: You operate a webshop and use marketing automation to learn more about your customers. Marketing automation systems “remember” relevant data, for example, at what time individual visitors typically stop by your online store, whether it is their first visit or a repeat visit, and which end devices they use. And information about products they viewed or searched for will narrow down your customers’ profiles as well.

The more often customers visit your online store, the more you learn about their interests and needs. With this knowledge, you can then design the customer experience with individualized content and personalize your customer communication.

Good to know: The segmentation of customer groups (37%) is the second most effective marketing strategy after personalization (57%). (

Personalization with customer data: The right way to use the Segment of One approach

Customer segmentation is nothing new. For a long time, companies have divided their customers into clusters based on the available data to derive buyer personas that allow them to customize their customer engagement as much as possible. However, such a segment may still contain thousands of customers – similar in many criteria but differing in just as many.

The Segment of One approach now represents a fundamental advancement of this clustering approach: The variety of available data and the intelligent software joining the data into a coherent whole facilitate the customized engagement of individual customers. The result? Segments that consist of only a single customer and permit hyper-personalized communication. Specifically, this means, for example:

  • Based on the interaction history, you can determine which channel a customer prefers to be contacted on – e-mail, phone or social media – and contact him accordingly.
  • By knowing the products a customer has viewed, combined with demographic data and preferred browsing behaviors, you can draw conclusions about interests and attitudes: Is she an introvert or an extrovert, is she curious or adventurous? You can then contemplate this knowledge again when selecting the appropriate newsletter or product recommendations.
  • Is your customer particularly spontaneous and impulse-driven since he often makes late-night purchases in your online shop after spending only a few minutes there? If so, he might really like limited-time discount promotions or sweepstakes.

Did you know? According to a study, marketers who personalized their mail campaigns were able to increase their sales by up to 760% (FinanceOnline, 2021).

To make personalized marketing effective, you need more than the right software solution that processes a wide range of information; in particular, you need sufficient customer data. In fact, the more data you have, the more meaningful a customer profile will be. Besides personal data such as the address, e-mail, birth date or family status, this also includes ample information about your customers’ browsing and purchasing behaviors:

  • Time and duration of stay
  • First-time or repeat visit
  • Current location
  • End device used
  • Preferred products and services
  • Completed or abandoned purchases
  • Use of social media
  • Willingness to communicate

A professional personalization and segmentation solution includes a customer data platform that collects large volumes of data from various sources (e.g., CRM, POS, mobile and website data, data warehouse or data lake) in real time and combines this information into extensive customer profiles.

The result: Hyper-personalization through marketing automation

With digitization and new technologies, you can automate and customize many marketing processes with customer insights today. Thus, you can achieve highly targeted marketing personalization with automated processes that devise an individualized and excellent customer experience for your customers. By using such a targeted and personalized engagement, providing customized offers and making enhanced customer journey touchpoints available, you will convert more leads into customers and turn happy one-time buyers into regular customers.

Good to know: At BSI, we love software and have passionately dedicated ourselves to creating delightful customer experiences. Our experienced team will be happy to assist you with customer relationship management, data management and customer experience in one-to-one marketing. Would you like to learn more? Please feel free to contact us!

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