Industry knowledge, creative trends, and the latest technologies.

Best Practices for Personalized Marketing You Can Learn From Netflix

Make no mistake; Netflix knows exactly what they’re doing. They found a way to undercut traditional cable prices, while still giving viewers what they want. Some might say they’ve also mastered the concept of collecting user data to personalize the user experience.

But, aside from offering on-demand entertainment for a fraction of the price of standard cable television providers, Netflix now has another advantage over traditional media: interactive content.The Black Mirror: Bandersnatch episode, released at the end of 2018, created a buzz that has echoed far and wide. And just released on April 10th, you can interact with Bear Grylls in You vs. Wild. Put it on your watchlist now!

About Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Though Black Mirror fans wouldn’t expect anything less than an out-of-the-box idea for an episode, this one requires viewers to make multiple decisions throughout the episode, each of which takes them in a different direction and essentially changes the storyline. Where the viewer arrives next is dependent entirely upon previous choices made throughout the episode, requiring viewers to remain engaged throughout the experience.

Even if you haven’t seen either of these episodes (yet), you’ve likely heard about them from a friend, family member, or coworker. Though reviews about the quality of the episode itself have been all over the map, it undeniably caught the attention of a mass amount of television watchers around the world.

What’s So Great about Netflix Interactive Content?

  1. It’s personal.
    Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Netflix’s interactive content is that each viewer’s experience with the content can be entirely different based on the individual choices they make. Viewers are in control of their experience, vs. merely watching content that’s already been fully created for a general audience.
  2. It lasts longer.
    Another perk of interactive content is that viewers can watch the same episode several times, while having a slightly (or significantly) different experience each time. Viewers can make different choices each time they watch the episode, creating the potential for one episode to serve as several hours of entertainment.
  3. It’s intriguing.
    Generally speaking, interactive content isn’t entirely new, but it is new to Netflix viewers. Viewers aren’t sure what to expect, or how it works, which makes the idea of watching that much more exciting. Plus, it would be difficult to spoil the episode for someone, since each viewer’s experience will be different.
  4. It’s memorable.
    When people are engaged with content, it is easier to remember. Additionally, the more invested a viewer is in their experience with the content, the more likely they are to enjoy the experience and to want to share it with others.

Where Interactive Content and Personalized Marketing Overlap

Interactive content can be used for more than just entertainment purposes. It’s also one of many methods used in personalized marketing efforts — which is another reason why we think this Netflix episode is so cool. Here are 4 best practices for personalized marketing that the Black Mirror: Bandersnatch episode hits right on the head.

  1. Get (More) Personal.
    Get to know your audience as a whole, but also on an individual level. Tracking individual data can help make future interactions with individual customers more personal. Even simple personal touches, like addressing customers by name in digital and print marketing campaigns, can make a big difference.
  2. Promote (Individual) Engagement.
    You want your customers to stay engaged with your brand for as long and as often as possible, right? By creating personalized content for individual customers via email, as well as targeted digital and print advertising, you can increase the likelihood of customers returning to your website and/or store through multiple channels. The more they see your brand — especially on a more personal level — the more likely they are to remember you when the time comes to make a purchase.
  3. Intrigue Your Audience with (Personal) Incentives.
    People love a good surprise or bonus, especially when it’s unique to them. Keeping your audience in suspense, with the promise of something new/extra/cool, that only they are eligible for — is sure to keep your brand top-of-mind.
  4. Make Your Messaging (Uniquely) Unforgettable.
    Whatever your value proposition or brand promise may be, make sure it’s unforgettable. Take it one step further, and create unique messaging at an individual level — making it all that more memorable. Consistency and repetition are essential to building brand awareness, but if you want to reach your audience on a more personal level, you’ve got to add uniquely personal messaging whenever possible.

Follow these best practices for personalized marketing, and you’ll be on your way to success. Interested in creating powerful marketing campaigns to grow your business? Contact Polaris Direct today to find out how we can help.



About the author: Lisa Leslie is a Copywriter for Polaris Direct, a nationally acclaimed high-volume direct marketing services company in Hooksett, NH. A skilled writer and creative thinker, Lisa works to uncover authentic and inspiring brand stories to create content that drives customer engagement. Throughout her professional career, she has filled a variety of roles, ranging from marketing administration and project management to digital marketing consulting and content development. In each role, Lisa has remained committed to helping brands tell their stories in ways that capture audiences and encourage customer loyalty. Her intuitive listening skills, broad experience, and talent for writing make her a unique and valuable asset to the Polaris Direct team.

Back to All Insights