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How marketers are embracing hyper-personalization in 2021

30-second summary:
Hyper-personalization is the key to providing frictionless experience online customers have now come to expect.
AI has made hyper-personalization a reality and Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are ways to implement this technology without having to overhaul your existing data infrastructure
Algorithms are getting more precise, fast, and are providing surprisingly accurate customers portraits that marketers can leverage.
It’s a balancing act. Customers are embracing personalized experiences, but still remain wary of keeping personal information private online

Hyper-personalization is an affordable and practical way to leverage AI
While many companies are still struggling to understand how artificial intelligence (AI) will ultimately enhance their menu of consumer products and services, one area where AI is already having a demonstrable impact is in the area of hyper-personalization.
The timing for this couldn’t be better. The pandemic has sent more consumers online to accomplish more tasks than ever before.  What these consumers are looking for is the same quality of service they are used to receiving from traditional retail environments, typically from sales associates, in store promotions, loyalty programs, etc.
Add to this the fact that consumers have also been spoiled by apps that serve their every whim no matter how niche, ecommerce tools like “customers also liked” pop-up suggestions, virtual dressing rooms, and responsive chat bots.

The upshot? Today’s consumer expects more from their internet experience. They want brands to provide them with what they want, when they want, no matter where they are. They want sites to anticipate and readily fulfill their needs.
Hyper-personalization is making this type of customer interaction not only possible, but also immersive, appropriate, enjoyable, and customer-specific. Thank artificial intelligence for that.

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AI is making it possible for businesses to finally leverage the myriad customer data they’ve gathered in the past and translate that data into personalized experiences their customers are looking for.
Capitalize customer data you already have
Using troves of new and collected customer data, emerging AI-powered platforms are able to determine the right products, services, or content to put in front of the consumer at the appropriate moment during their customer journey with the brand.
This is powerful because it gives AI-powered customer data platforms a full picture of the customer and drive personalized offerings accordingly.
The process benefits from being timely.  In real time, hyper-personalization is helping brands capitalize on their omnichannel data to drive personalized customer experiences that result in increased loyalty and its accompanying sales.
Where does the data come from? The data comes from a treasure chest of information the brand has collected about online behavior, customer demographics, and previous buying history. It’s all information they’ve compiled from the various customer touch points from across their business.
CDPs make fast and accurate use of data
This information is analyzed by customer data platforms (CDPs) to paint a thorough and accurate portrait of each individual customer. Using a combination of AI, machine learning, and data analytics, the programs are able to suggest what personal experiences will appeal to that customer the next time they have an interaction with the brand.
The good news is, this isn’t pie-in-the-sky marketing.  CDPs are available now and are redefining the landscape for brand marketers.  Valuable information, once squirreled away in some other business department’s silo, now sees the light of day and is compared with other data nuggets to spot patterns and reveal consumer insights.
What use to take weeks or months to ascertain is now culled, analyzed, and interpreted in real time, giving brand marketers a powerful opportunity to react to changing data intelligence, like shifting consumer sentiments, quickly and proactively.
It also allows those marketers to produce highly personalized user experiences that will grab the attention of their customer and keep them glued to the sales funnel.
Best of all, these insights can be applied to augment the efficacy of other business tools such as email marketing initiatives, social media campaigns, advertising buys, and push notifications. This way, the brand is supporting its own efforts, across each of the customer channels, with consistent messaging and offers that the consumer is most likely to respond to.
Hyper-personalization offers a frictionless customer experience
What are the practical applications of a personalized experience? The list is growing every day. But say for instance you need more information about a specific product.
Rather than having to fill out a form with standard personal information, what if the form dropped down, pre-populated with all your information filled in, just asking you to confirm it? What if site already knew your clothing measurements, or your favorite colors, or what style you lean towards?
In the end, such a website saves you time and a degree of frustration, providing you with a much more frictionless experience.
The balancing act
The challenge moving forward into 2021 will be the continued delivery of personalized experiences while maintaining compliance with existing privacy laws and those regulations appearing on the horizon.
It’s a delicate balancing act marketers will have to pull off as consumer increasingly embrace the hyper-personalization experience, but also demand transparency when it comes to how their information is being used.
Mike Edmonds is Chief Experience Officer of global digital-services giant Pactera EDGE, he consults for a number of retail clients, helping them digitally transform their businesses and develop lovable customer experiences for today’s increasingly tech-savvy consumers.

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82 Million Households Streamed 'Bridgerton.' Now, Fashion Brands Can't Keep Corsets in Stock

February 10, 2021 8 min read
Netflix costume drama Bridgerton smashed viewing records and projections when it debuted in December, quickly becoming the streaming service’s most popular original series ever. The first Shonda Rhimes project to come out of her $100 million deal with Netflix, Bridgerton explores the dynamics of courting and marriage in 19th-century England.
Bridgerton’s Christmas Day release was timed perfectly for Netflix viewers who needed an escape — and perhaps something to occupy their time as they spent the holidays alone, or with a smaller group than usual. And what an escape it is: A light, frothy retreat from the real world into a place where an unwed couple walking alone in a garden is enough to set tongues wagging and lead to social downfall. The escapism wouldn’t be complete without Bridgerton’s opulent set designs and costumes: Designer Ellen Mirojnick and her team of 200 were tasked with creating more than 7,500 costumes in five months for the series’ eight episodes.
Netflix could have predicted that Bridgerton would be a hit, but few anticipated it would become a full-blown cultural phenomenon, capable of providing a much-needed boost to the fashion industry. Fashion and retail have been among the industries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic — after all, why get dressed up with nowhere to go?
But months of sitting at home have started to take their toll, and consumers are looking to spice up their sweatpants and slippers uniforms. So where are they looking for inspiration? To the shows that have captured their imaginations for the past 11 months, of course. 
Shopping app LTK compiles images from thousands of influencers’ Instagram feeds, serving as both a way for users to find inspiration and a way for influencers to make a commission when followers buy something they post about. Since Bridgerton’s debut in December, LTK has seen a 1,900% week-over-week increase in people searching for “Bridgerton” fashion, a 25,000% increase in people searching for “nap dresses,” a 3,900% increase in searches for silk dresses, a 1,000% increase in searches for embroidery and a 1,000% increase in searches for corsets. (The show might seem stodgy, but it’s anything but. It is based on a series of bestselling romance novels after all). 
“[This year] saw an unimaginable increase in consumers spending more time indoors than ever before, and they consumed content at record-breaking rates as a result,” says Dave Murray, European managing directory of LTK and its parent company RewardStyle. “With physical retail spaces, pubs, restaurants, and the arts closed, event gatherings canceled, and office attendance minimized, consumers turned to online and streaming content as a primary source of inspiration. In the LTK shopping app, we have seen this mirrored in a dramatic increase in searches for topical trends including interiors and fashion, as well as search terms from TV shows such as Emily in Paris, Sex and the City and Bridgerton.”
The data LTK compiled shows certain search terms spike when a new show is trending. When Emily in Paris debuted in October, searches for houndstooth jackets, the main character’s signature look, increased by 2,900%. When The Queen’s Gambit was all anyone could talk about, searches for 60s style spiked. And when HBO Max announced a Sex and the City reboot was coming, searches for Carrie Bradshaw’s beloved Manolo Blahniks surged by 1,000%.
All this browsing isn’t just for fun, either. According to Google, when searches for Bridgerton were spiking in early January, they were happening in the Google Shopping tab — not the main Google Search tab. That indicates consumers were searching with the intent to actually buy, and both anecdotal and quantitative data from fashion brands supports that.
Take luxury lingerie brand Fleur du Mal for example: In one of its first scenes, Bridgerton features a character being laced into a corset. Starting in December when the show launched, Fleur du Mal saw a 102% increase in people viewing corsets and bra tops on its site, and those searches led to a 30% increase in corset sales starting in December, with multiple items selling out. 
“While many brands saw an uptick in casual styles this year, we were excited to see increased interest in our sexier offerings even before the show was released,” says Fleur du Mal founder and CEO Jennifer Zuccarini. “The success of Bridgerton definitely added momentum, and I think had people fantasizing, in more ways than one, about dressing up and undressing. Our whole team was watching the show, and we often discussed it in our morning marketing calls, so we were following it pretty closely.”
For Afshan Abbas, founder of Seattle-based Fuchsia Shoes, a surprising post-holiday spike in traffic to the site caused her to dig deeper into how people were finding her company’s hand-embroidered flats. “While most of our organic traffic comes from search terms around ethical, sustainable, made-to-order, juttis, or artisan-made shoes, Google Analytics revealed many of our new searches were coming from search terms around embroidered shoes,” she says. “I’d already heard of the show, but I didn’t put two and two together until I noticed a thread about Bridgerton and embroidery in our private Facebook group of core Fuchsia fans.”

Image Credit: Fuchsia Shoes
Fuchsia’s shoes do bear a striking resemblance to the embroidered and beaded clothing Bridgerton heroine Daphne Bridgerton wears throughout the first season, so much so that Abbas decided to produce a limited-edition Bridgerton-inspired pair to build on the momentum. 
“We partner with incredibly talented artisans in Pakistan who use centuries-old techniques to hand-embroider every Fuchsia shoe,” she says. “Every pair of our shoes is made-to-order, so this gives us the flexibility to produce limited quantity batches of shoes and test new designs, textiles and patterns. After studying Bridgerton’s incredible outfits, we decided to release a shoe inspired by some of Daphne Bridgerton’s dresses. We’re working with our designers to nail down the exact pattern, textiles and colors, but right now we’re looking at a shoe that will have elements of our Crown and Mohagny. It will be ornate, light blue and embellished with pearls and metallic beads. We’ll be releasing this new shoe in about three weeks.”
For other brands, the Bridgerton craze and accompanying surge in sales was simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Hill House Home, a direct-to-consumer home and fashion brand, debuted its line of “nap dresses” in 2019, and they were already wildly popular pre-pandemic. But in an era of Zoom meetings, the polished-yet-comfortable design became the unofficial WFH uniform for a certain group of mostly millennial women. “It’s a dress that you feel really presentable in, and that you can tackle anything in, but that’s still comfortable,” says Hill House Home founder and CEO Nell Diamond. “The nap dress name is a bit of a misnomer. Nobody’s napping — certainly not our customers. I have not had time to nap in years. It’s the idea that the comfort that’s inherent to the nap dress makes it possible for you to theoretically take a nap anytime.”

The Caroline Nap Dress. Image Credit: Emma Craft
An October Wall Street Journal article compared the dresses to the costumes from the 1996 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. That comparison was remarkably prescient: Bridgerton is set in the same era, and searches for nap dress style inspiration on the LTK app in January jumped a whopping 25,000%. 
“Where I really saw the Bridgerton effect was on social media,” Diamond says. “I saw people at home fully doing a dress-up with our product, and that made me so happy. We have this one dress called the Caroline, and it has a high neck and is very Bridgerton. We saw people wearing a headband and the Caroline with a cup of tea in front of their TV just having a night. And I’m like ‘Yes, you deserve it. What a year. Do that.’”
In a stroke of fate, Hill House’s new line of nap dresses, dubbed the English Garden Collection, debuts today. “We definitely love a good floral and proper Regency vibe, but it’s a happy accident,” Diamond says. “I’m not in with Netflix — would love to be, that’d be great.”

Challenge 2021: How to improve the physical and mental well-being of my employees?

85% of Mexican organizations lack adequate conditions for their employees to have a balance between their personal and work life.
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February 10, 2021 5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

By: Lucas Melman, CEO of Gympass México
” Health ” is probably the main desire, interest and motor of both personal and company agendas in 2021. In an environment as challenging as the previous year, it is increasingly essential to know the new tools and platforms that allow meeting the regulations already established such as NOM 35 , as well as the recently approved reform to regulate teleworking .
One of the concerns that we hear the most in Gympass from the Human Resources area is how to support teams, especially because according to a study by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), 85% of Mexican organizations lack adequate conditions for its employees to have a balance between their personal and work life, which causes physical and psychological disorders.
One of the elements that companies can rely on is precisely technology: bringing together integrated platforms where employees find tools that allow them to achieve precisely that balance: from food to adopt or deepen healthier lifestyles, physical training options or start meditation practices to improve the quality of the day to day.
Let us also consider that according to information from the Gartner consultancy, 41% of employees would be willing to continue with the home office scheme, being that before the pandemic only 30% worked remotely from time to time and that the circumstances themselves will be conducive for more and more people to join this work modality.
We know how challenging the year is, so I would like to share five actions that can support you to address the concerns of work teams at the beginning of 2021.
Explore flexible schemes: Teams likely have different needs in order to meet their goals. It is important to consider various approaches to design policies that allow teams to benefit as much as possible from the benefits of remote work and to adequately meet their objectives. Remember that showing flexibility goes a long way towards building support networks and value relationships that benefit everyone.
View wellness as an integrated concept. One of the main learnings that 2020 left us is that physical well-being is as important as emotional well-being, due to the impact it has on social skills as well as the ease of proper concentration, empathy, idea generation and teamwork. According to Gympass’ own study at the regional level, 77% of the users interviewed highlighted the importance of companies offering wellness solutions, however, only 34% of companies had an approach that also included the emotional aspect and not just the physical.
Strengthens resilience capacities: It is no coincidence that companies use phrases and images associated with the sporting world: “Eyes on the goal”, or “achieving market positioning is not a short race, it is a marathon”. Physical activity is a great teacher so that both from the individual and from the formation of teams we know our strengths, we improve our communication skills and it is an experience that can be capitalized in a positive way both by leaders and by the companies themselves.
It fosters collaborative environments: Collaborative work is an essential ingredient in all processes, in this new context, teams can be impacted by the geographic barriers of remote and dispersed work; However, establishing common challenges through physical activity or wellness on an integrated platform can be a catalyst to spark powerful conversations that allow them to stay creative, innovative and close.
Don’t forget about self-care. The Human Resources area was one of the areas that suffered the greatest wear and tear during 2020. It is also important that those responsible for the optimal functioning of the teams are included in the physical and emotional care agenda, with exercise routines and monitoring of activities either meditation, yoga and those applications for a better quality of sleep. Happy employees are not only synonymous with healthy people, but also with productivity, loyalty to the company, aspects that provide a healthier work environment.
Companies are one of the productive engines of any economy. They cannot forget that they are entities made up of people, who unite their efforts, talents, discipline and interests to achieve a common goal. To the extent that the approaches are more comprehensive and measures are adopted for the physical and emotional care of the teams, there will be a positive impact that allows the development of potentialities and capacities to increase well-being, generating virtuous circles in the new dynamics of the labor market .

Develop These Habits and You Will Be Less Stressed at Work

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It’s Monday first thing. You did not rest well during the weekend because you were worried precisely about the tasks that little by little were accumulating on your desk and should be ready by the end of the afternoon and, on top of that, you have a two-hour meeting at 10 am.
Does it sound familiar? Stress can appear when a person is involved in such a situation in their workplace.
Stress in itself is not bad, although everyone paints it as the greatest enemy of health . Certainly, stress affects the quality of life of people both mentally and physically, because, according to the World Health Organization , it can lead to diseases such as a cardiovascular condition. However, stress is nothing more than an adaptive reaction that your body and mind have and that allows you to cope with changes a little more. It becomes a negative when it lasts over time and you can’t seem to control it.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) in a recent study on labor pressure in Latin America, “work-related stress is determined by work organization, work design and labor relations, and occurs when Work demands do not correspond to or exceed the capacities, resources or needs of the worker or when the knowledge and skills of a worker or a group to face these demands do not coincide with the expectations of the organizational culture of a company ”.
The truth is that this directly affects your work productivity and also affects your personal life .
There are some simple methods that can help you cope with stress and even de-stress completely while you are working. Instead of considering them a waste of time, see them as a good investment in your health and even in the same deliveries that you have at your workplace, because for everything to go well, you must first be well!
Control your breathing

Image: Darius Bashar via Unsplash
Underestimated by many, mindful breathing for at least 10 minutes a day is quite a powerful technique to de-stress at work.
The function of this is to be in control of your physical reactions, and stress is one of them.
To do this, try to be in a quiet place and as comfortable as possible. Then breathe in through your nose slowly for a mental count of four, hold it for about two seconds and then exhale for a slow count of eight.
You will see how your ideas are clarified and you will be able to control everything that happens around you.
Keep an order on your desk

Image: Georgie Cobbs via Unsplash
It may seem like the dumbest thing in the world, but if you have a messy desk, it will be useless to take a deep breath. Order helps relieve your stress.
It is recommended that you have your notebooks organized and the space as free as possible, placing your pencils in a pen. It is also advisable that your computer is in front of you, looking directly into your eyes and not to the side.
Place decorations that serve to brighten your eyes, such as motivational quotes, photos of your vacation at sea, photos of your smiling family or plants. Cacti are great for entertaining you for a while!
The clearer your desk is, the clearer your mind will be. Don’t neglect your workspace!

Image: Avrielle Suleiman via Unsplash
It is something that perhaps because of your type of work you will not be able to do daily, but about ten minutes of this activity daily reduces the possibility of weakening the immune system, which is related to health conditions, including the consequences of stress.
This is an activity that you could propose to the company you belong to to include it outside of working hours, with the hiring of an instructor. If not, look for tutorials on YouTube or Webinars about it and try to do them yourself at least three times a week and / or on weekends.
Watch what you eat

Image: Avrielle Suleiman via Unsplash
There are foods like almonds and spinach that relieve stress, but you need to reduce your sugar intake and reduce your caffeine intake.
It is also recommended that you avoid eating in front of your computer because your body will not feel any rest (you can check social networks after eating).
If you sit in the dining room, go out and relax for a few minutes, you will return to work like new.
Listen to your favorite music

Image: Alex Blăjan via Unsplash
Not everyone handles stress or their daily life in the same way. However, listening to your favorite music for a few minutes a day (in case you don’t lose focus while working out if you listen to it) can be quite a powerful relaxant.
Music has been shown to influence hormone levels, blood pressure, and even your breathing rate.
Relax your muscles

Image: Abigail Keenan via Unsplash
It is recommended that outside of work you do low-mode exercises for 30 to 60 minutes a day such as running, cycling or swimming. If your company offers the service of a gym, do not hesitate and sign up.
According to the Spanish Heart Foundation, exercise accompanied by a natural landscape such as a park or garden enhances the results and, obviously, helps reduce daily stress.
However, while you are at your desk working and have time to do your relaxation exercises or drink water, take advantage and stretch your muscles a little.
Don’t sit for more than 50 minutes and stretch your neck, arms, and legs.
Try to touch your feet with the tips of your fingers so that you can stretch your back as well. A sedentary lifestyle only helps to increase your stress and that is something you do not want.
It is also recommended that you keep your back straight while sitting in front of the computer, as this will avoid future pain and also boost your energy.
Stop bad thoughts

Image: Quin Stevenson via Unsplash
It’s difficult but not impossible. Learn to detect when you are having a negative thought. Then do the breathing exercises and change it for at least four positive thoughts.
If something bothered you at work, write it down on paper and unleash all the anger you have in writing, then tear up this sheet of paper, breathe and listen to your favorite music.
In conclusion, focus on the here and now without letting annoyances and feelings of anger control your day-to-day life and your productivity in your workplace and your happiness in your personal life.