Marketing Strategy

3 Personalization Case Studies That Make an Impact

October 8, 2019

Personalization is the marketing tactic of the year, and we can’t stop talking about it.

From personalizing your email content to running personalized school tours, convincing your audience that you are talking to them individually is no longer a ‘nice to have’ — it’s expected.

To remain competitive, we recommend taking a leaf out of the corporate marketers’ playbook and getting creative with personalization. We’ve put together three case studies that make a big impact, and how your school can follow their example to drive enrollments.


1. Puppo creates a custom poster for every dog in NYC


Puppo, a startup dog food company is a personalized subscription service based on your dog’s age, size, breed and unique health concerns. In order to cut through a crowded dog food market, and raise awareness of the benefits of Puppo, they launched a bespoke marketing campaign, creating a personalized poster ad for every dog (over 100,000 in total!) living in New York City.


Image: The Drum

Source: The Drum



Puppo enlisted Colenso BBDO, an Auckland-based creative agency, to create an algorithm that pulled information from the NYC Dog Licencing Dataset, which is publicly available online. This information includes the dog’s name, breed, age and their owner’s zip code (postal code).


Image: NYC Dog Licensing Dataset

Source: NYC Dog Licensing Dataset


They then used the algorithm to link each dog to a Puppo health benefit and created a poster that addresses each dog by name. These ads were placed at popular dog walking routes near the owner’s zip code location to ensure they were able to see them.



The ads drove a 65% spike in website users within one week, and a 144% increase in organic web searches for Puppo. Find out more about the Puppo ‘Every Dog Has Its Ad’ campaign.


What your school can learn from Puppo

While Puppo’s approach is out of scope for most schools, distributing personalized print media is not. Variable Data Printing (or VDP) is a method of printing marketing collateral that pulls information from a database to create unique printed material at scale.

This allows schools to provide families with printed communication that appears to be written for them. You can change out most elements  from simple changes, such as a name, to more complex changes, such as changing out colours, artwork, or big blocks of text.


2. Chobani lovers say ‘I do’


Yoghurt company, Chobani, has quickly developed a cult status among Australian consumers, nurturing brand love and loyalty through connecting directly with customers on social media. One such fan, Emma, claimed she “couldn’t go a day without eating Chobani” and so the Aussie marketing team jumped on the chance to be a part of her wedding day and “share the love”.



The Chobani product team quickly got to work creating special Chobani-inspired gifts, including matching Chobani pot rings and Chobani pot bouquet holders. They then organized for a team to travel to the wedding to give out Chobani Flip with customized ‘Mr and Mrs’ Chobani spoons. Photos from the wedding were then published on the Chobani social media accounts.


Image: Chobani Facebook Page

Source: Chobani Facebook page



Aside from guaranteeing that Emma would continue to consume Chobani every day for the rest of her life, Chobani’s Facebook post received over 200 positive comments, 6 shares and a truckload of excellent word-of-mouth and brand awareness. Check out the Chobani Australia Facebook page to see the other ways that they’re delighting their loyal fans.


What your school can learn from Chobani

Everyone likes to be celebrated, and most people are not averse to having brands (including schools!) participate in their milestone days. Most of the data that you need to make your community feel special is at your disposal  so why not put it to work?

Could you send parents a bottle of wine when they’ve paid their last round of school fees? How about mailing stress balls and encouraging notes from teachers to seniors before the start of the exam block? The flow-on effects of remembering your community’s milestones can be exponential.



The best way to keep track of parent data? A customer relationship manager (or CRM).

Check out our post, Spotlight on CRMs: Why Your School Needs One



3. The AFL got me back to the stadium


In 2017, the Australian Football League (AFL) had a problem: due to the passionate (read: hardcore) nature of their fans, everyone who wanted to attend an AFL game, already was attending AFL games. In order to sell more tickets, they needed to create more excitement among casual fans  the ones who were content to watch the games on TV.


How they did it

They used data available from individual team membership databases to create custom Facebook audiences defined by their level of commitment to the AFL and their club. They displayed highlights of Brisbane games to Lions fans and offered discounted Geelong tickets to Cats fans. One particularly effective advertizement showed a slow-motion video of St Kilda captain, Nick Riewoldt embracing another player to encourage fans to purchase tickets to his final game.


Facebook post

Source: Marketing Mag


The results

Between March and September 2017, the AFL saw a 17 x return on ad spend, a 60% decrease in CPC (cost-per-conversion) and over 47,000 ticket sales for the season. The campaign also set up the AFL clubs for success in the years following. In 2018, for the first time in the game’s history, the clubs surpassed one million members. In the following years, the clubs have also seen record levels of participation and game attendance.

And not only that, the advertising worked on me. This year, I attended a Brisbane Lions game for the first time in over a decade. And I plan on attending more games next season.


Image: friends at AFL


What your school can learn from the AFL

You can also take advantage of Facebook custom audiences, allow you to identify and leverage people who already know about your school and drive them to enroll. Not sure where to get started with custom audiences? Luckily for you, we’ve put together a handy guide that runs you through the different types of audiences you can set up and how to create them.


Check out our post, A School Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Custom Audiences


Getting started with personalization

Personalization isn’t an out-of-reach concept for most schools. With a little money and a lot of creativity, schools can leverage tools and data to create an amazing experience for prospective and current families in their community.

If you want to start using personalization in your marketing strategy, the first thing you need is an up-to-date database of every family that has interacted with your school. A great place to gather and store this information is in a customer relationship manager (CRM), such as Digistorm’s FUNNEL. You can learn more about why your school should consider implementing a CRM in this handy guide.


Want to chat further about CRMs with a friendly member of the Digistorm team? Don’t hesitate to contact us or reach out on Facebook.