Personalization is an attribute of key value for consumers: not only do they want it from brands, they expect it. We recently provided details, data, and strategies to address the importance consumers place on personalization at Clorox FWD, Clorox’s annual company-wide conference where we were joined by Jenny Oh and Marie Tsang from PepsiCo. Key takeaways include defining personalization, using consumer-driven marketing strategies, and embracing AI-inclusive technological advances.

Per McKinsey & Company research, 71% of consumers expect personalization. When they don’t receive this personalization, 76% of customers experience disappointment. Additionally, personalization points to repeat purchases, with 78% indicating a higher likelihood of a repeat purchase decision from a brand that permits personalization.

What does personalization mean to me?

Personalization can often be confused with customization. To explain the difference, I like to use the analogy of getting into your car. Customization means getting into your car and adjusting the seat and steering wheel, setting the radio, and turning on the air conditioning. Personalization means your car knows your key just unlocked it, so it adjusts the seat and steering wheel, sets the radio, and turns on the air conditioning before you sit down.

Ultimately, when I think of personalization, I think of convenience and value. There are bountiful opportunities for companies that thrive on innovation and prioritize the consumer experience.

What does personalization mean in advertising?

I learned during this event that everyone has their own way of defining what personalization really means. To Aki, personalization means “combining dynamic messaging with custom creative to adapt to the preferences of each consumer, reaching them with relevant advertisements in moments of receptivity”. The Clorox Company defines personalization as “deliberately tailoring the consumer experience using consumer signals to improve relevancy via personalization levers.” Clorox has made the bold move that all digital marketing will be personalized by 2025.

PepsiCo defines personalization as “using data to customize messaging to deliver more relevant, engaging, and effective consumer experiences.” Even though we may each define the term in our own ways, we ultimately all see personalization as a means to provide value to consumers with tailored and relevant messages.

Below are some photos taken during the event.

Aki - Clorox FWD

Technology drives innovation

Meeting the demands for exceptional personalization requires the right tools. Access to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning allows for the scale needed to truly succeed with personalization.

Along with tools that allow the consumer to personalize their products and advertising experience, innovative technologies can help marketers predict, spot trends, evolve, and change as the face of innovation in industries where consumers guide the need for personalization.

It’s clear that companies like Clorox and PepsiCo aren’t only embracing the power of personalization, but they’re also steering its growth and driving true innovation in the CPG category and within digital advertising at large.

If you’d like to discuss how personalization can support your media strategies, feel free to contact me directly at

Risa Crandall, SVP CPG Strategy and Sales at Aki