Case Study05/31/2023

Case Study: Optimizing Personalized Marketing Campaigns at Scale

Brock Ferguson
Co-Founder, Principal Consultant

In a large, multi-year engagement, Strong Analytics provided strategic consulting, experimental strategy, and machine learning research support to a large consumer-facing real estate business. The company had reached a point in their marketing strategy where product awareness reached near-total market saturation.

We worked with the client to design and implement a new strategy to reach their next phase of venture development. These goals included personalizing nurture outreach through micro-targeting and personalized content, measuring incrementality through A/B testing, and leveraging uplift modeling and next-best-action optimization for continuous, automated improvement.

The Problem

As product awareness increased, our client faced diminishing returns from their marketing efforts. A one-size-fits-all marketing approach was no longer effective in capturing the attention and interest of their target audience. To continue growing their business, the company needed to pivot towards more personalized marketing campaigns at scale.

However, doing so presented several challenges. The company lacked the infrastructure and capabilities to effectively collect, analyze, and utilize customer behavioral data to tailor their marketing messages. They also needed a way to measure the impact of their campaigns and continuously optimize their outreach strategies based on the insights gained from data analysis. They needed a more comprehensive solution that could automate the execution of micro-targeted campaigns, ensuring that the right content reached the right audience through the most effective channels.

Our Solution

As we have done in other marketing personalization projects, we took a holistic approach to building a production-grade marketing platform that could facilitate personalized marketing campaigns at scale.

The key objectives of the solution that we developed were as follows:

Automating Micro-targeted Marketing Campaigns

We developed a bespoke marketing platform that could seamlessly ingest customer behavioral data and user-level outcomes across lines of business. This platform enabled our client to automatically execute micro-targeted marketing campaigns based on individual customer preferences and behaviors.

Measuring Campaign Impact and Optimization

The marketing platform was designed to measure the incrementality of each campaign through rigorous A/B testing. By comparing the results of different content and channel strategies, our client could determine the effectiveness of their outreach efforts and make data-driven decisions to optimize future campaigns at the audience-, channel-, and message-levels

We paired this new, bespoke marketing platform with several strategic marketing initiatives to enable our partner to derive maximum value from the platform. Some of those initiatives included the following:

Campaign Verticals

We designed several campaign “verticals” focused on specific lines of business within the platform. Each campaign vertical had its own creative content and channel options, tailored to appeal to the unique interests and preferences of different customer segments.

Audience Segmentation

We segmented the company's customer base based on their affinity for each campaign vertical. Within each segment, we began broadly experimenting with content and channel strategies using fully-autonomous experimentation. Our new platform would randomly experiment by sending different kinds of content and selecting different channels for users while, critically, maintaining matched control groups for each action to fuel subsequent analysis/optimization. This allowed for targeted messaging and tailored content delivery to specific audience segments, increasing the relevance and impact of the marketing campaigns.

Next Best Action Optimization

Using uplift modeling and next-best-action sequence optimization, we analyzed the experimental results to understand the lift generated by different campaigns on various audience segments. By identifying the most effective content themes and channels, the company could optimize their marketing strategies and deliver personalized messages that resonated with their customers.

Campaign Optimization

Based on the insights gained from audience segmentation and next-best-action optimization, we continuously fine-tuned and optimized the marketing campaigns. This iterative approach allowed the company to achieve significant business impact by efficiently reaching a smaller but highly influenceable population with tailored messages and offers.

Performance Impact

The implementation of the personalized marketing strategy and associated marketing platform had a significant impact on our client’s business. The multidisciplinary effort involving data science, AI, marketing, and product teams resulted in millions of dollars of incremental revenue. The personalized campaigns not only drove greater efficiency in customer acquisition and retention but also fostered stronger customer engagement and loyalty.

Moreover, the strategy laid the foundation for an evergreen approach to marketing personalization. The insights gained and the lessons learned from this project can be applied across the entire business to optimize marketing impact through ongoing personalization efforts. The real estate company now has a scalable and data-driven marketing framework that enables them to adapt to changing customer preferences and market dynamics, ensuring continued growth and competitive advantage.


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