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Strategy & Insights

What Are VPREs?

By Gabbi Hall

March 24, 2023

Let’s get personal for a second. 

We all want to be understood. We want to be valued. Engaged. Treated like we’re singular and not just a number in a massive database segment. 

This is where the creative digital performance marketing concept of Valuable Personally Relevant Experiences (VPREs) comes in. VPREs are interactions that hold significance to individuals because they are uniquely valuable to them. VPREs show an understanding of a customer’s wants, needs, interests and intent by delivering an experience that makes them feel special, understood and delighted.

All the while being intuitive and intentional without being creepy.


Want an Example of a VPRE? 

Look no further than Spotify. 

Spotify is a streaming music giant that serves 456 million active users on a daily basis. Despite having so many customers (and with each person streaming their own unique set of songs) it manages the seemingly impossible: each week, it curates a personalized playlist called “Discover Weekly.” This playlist is more than just a collection of suggested songs to check out; it is a remarkably accurate predictor of music you’re going to absolutely fall in love with. You’re virtually guaranteed to discover a new artist — or a new-to-you artist — who you just can’t live without when you open Spotify on Monday morning. This magic didn’t just happen overnight, though. It took years of prototyping, testing, listening to customers and eventually fusing two popular features to find the perfect mix. 

Of course, not all VPREs take years to perfect. Some come about spontaneously, but most require a scientific and thoughtful approach that involves a robust personal data collection system, testing, measuring, going back to the drawing board and eventually finding that connection with your brand’s consumers. Or, as we like to say, it’s part art and part science. 

VPREs: The Best Gifts You’ve Ever Gotten 

Look at it this way: if something is personally relevant, then it is more likely to be valuable, bring more joy, offer more connection and ultimately lead to more conversions. It’s kind of like gift giving. We know our loved ones so well that we are able to give them the most relevant and meaningful gifts. The better we know someone, the better our gifts get. The better we know customers, the better their experience gets.

Personalized experiences can occur through various channels, such as apps, websites, and human-to-human interactions. The most effective channels are those that offer personalized preferences based on behavior, like Amazon’s suggested items or Netflix’s recommended movies. Although not all personalized experiences are equally valuable, making them as relevant as possible depends on observed data. 

VPREs are only as strong as the data and the insights gathered to deliver those experiences. Regardless of whether it’s executed digitally or in the real world, it all starts with gathering quality data points.

VPREs Are Critical to Conversions – But There’s a Catch

So, if personalization is so important, why is it also really difficult to get right? According to Forrester, Gartner, and Infosys, nearly half of consumers are willing to spend more when a brand taps into their interests through personalization. In fact, the payoff can be as high as 8X ROI when executed properly. 

Despite that, most marketers agree that they’re working with audiences that are simply too broad to be effective. On top of that, nearly a third say they do not have the bandwidth to personalize their messages. Seen in this light, working with a partner who understands the marketing efforts that go into building an effective VPRE strategy and have experience with executing personally relevant experiences across marketing channels is a smart approach.

vpre shopping experience

Where Should I Start?

When you want to give a great gift, you have to get to know the person. Have conversations. Collect information on their likes and dislikes. Well, the same goes for us as marketers—and like any good relationship—that information comes with time and commitment.

“We cannot go after thousands of men until we learn how to win one.”

Claude C. Hopkins

To start working your way towards VPREs, here are actions to take:

  • Audit your available data. What information do you currently have on your customers and leads? Where are the gaps? 
  • Take a look at how you’re collection that information. Is it lead forms? Sales calls? Surveys? Purchase history? 
  • Evaluate your technology. Do you have a strong CRM in place to store and leverage your data? Do you need to consider a CDP? 
  • Do you have a plan in place to build on your relationships and collect new and helpful data over time?
  • And, of course, consult your legal team as you hone in on your data strategy. With new and changing data privacy laws, you’ll want to ensure you’re keeping up with best practices.

Once your data is clean and organized, that’s when the fun really starts because you can start to surprise and delight leads based on the information they are willing to share. From learning their first name and favorite sports team to send more personalized sales emails to analyzing listening habits to create custom playlists, VPREs can start to take form.

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