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Making Personalization Beautiful

We were about to miss the plane.

We’d just run through the airport terminal to make it to our gate, but because we’d just given a talk together at IRCE — and hadn’t had lunch — Shawna and I were starving and needed a quick bite before boarding.

She looked at me sheepishly before suggesting, “What about McDonalds?”

Of course there was one next to our gate.

“I love McDonalds!” was my enthusiastic reply, shamelessly revealing my hope that the question would come up.

“It’s my airport-only guilty pleasure. My husband doesn’t like it,” she added.

I knew what she meant, “I send food photos to my girlfriend all the time. It drives her nuts.”

Nothing like the adrenaline rush of an airport sprint and regret-inducing french fries to bring people closer.

Authentic Moments, And What They Mean For Marketing

Shawna Hausman is the VP of Ecommerce and Digital Marketing at Giggle, one of the most innovative online retailers in the kids and babies category. Shawna also worked with Olapic in her previous role at West Elm, so it’s safe to say she’s a fan of what we’re doing at Olapic.

I recently asked Shawna why she decided to make a bet on Olapic, and she made a comment about personalization I found really interesting. She said: “Personalization engines are powerful mathematical models that enable you to do amazing things in marketing. But they look ugly.

“In a campaign,” she went on to say, “there’s an early choice you have to make. You either build a beautifully designed visual experience for the masses. Or you send a text-based, extremely targeted and personalized one.”

I immediately pictured the difference between the Dove campaigns and being stalked by retargeting companies.

“To us, Olapic sits in the middle,” she added.

Shawna is already picturing what Olapic’s repository of consumer-generated content will enable: the ability to power the content of personalization engines, to build beautifully rich experiences for each consumer. In essence, to make personalization beautiful.

Or, to make visually emotional campaigns personal. Visual creative is expensive and time consuming to produce, and Giggle’s bet on Olapic is a decision towards building that future.

visual marketing

Giggle’s homepage gallery powered by Olapic

Giggle’s strategy is centered around their consumer, asking their permission for content, and carefully curating their media library with rights-approved images. Despite having a small, multi-tasking team, they’ve successfully built out their Olapic content engine, and are powering some of the most innovative “content-commerce” experiences.

Together with Listrak, they’ve built a visual shopping cart abandonment email, and user photos power their Beacon store integration with their mobile app.
UGC email marketing
On their site, user generated photos show up when you mouse over a product in a category or search page, as if you switched the stale white-background-product-shot for a baby picture as a show of appreciation for your consumer intent. Because, who doesn’t love baby photos? Probably, products with baby photos are driving more click-throughs in the category funnel.

These are examples of fantastic, cutting-edge experiences that bring brands and consumers closer together.

I can’t wait to see what we build together next.

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