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Cramer: From cancer treatment to retail, personalization has become a business 'necessity'

Key Points
  • The common thread running across industries from cancer treatment to retail is "personalization," CNBC's Jim Cramer said.
  • While the "Mad Money" host said he worries it can become a buzzword, he believes there is something more to the trend.
  • "If your business isn't personalizing and the other guy is, you're gonna get eaten alive," he said.
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Cramer: From cancer treatment to retail, personalization is a business necessity

There is a common thread running across industries from cancer treatment to retail to banking right now, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday.

It is personalization, and while it can be a tired cliche, Cramer said there is really something more to this trend.

"Sometimes I get too skeptical and I worry that this stuff is all ... for show, that personalization is merely a Silicon Valley buzzword," the "Mad Money" host said. "But then I realize that if your business isn't personalizing and the other guy is, you're gonna get eaten alive."

The need for personalization has extended across all manner of sectors because it can deliver powerful results, Cramer said. It's something Cramer said he's taken away from his time at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

Tailoring cancer treatment to the needs of the individual has grown in popularity and for good reason, Cramer said.

That is particularly evident, he said, in the work from Moderna, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech company developing personal cancer vaccines.

"Can you imagine blocking the cancer you're most susceptible [to] with a shot? In our lifetime? Incredible," Cramer said, admiring how far cancer treatment has come since his late mother fought kidney cancer decades ago.

CVS is an example of a retail company that is making strides around personalization, Cramer said.

"They're trying to get you to tell them what you need so they can steer you in the right direction," he said. "There's so much confusion in the drugstore right now because there are so many options. If they can give you the answer, well, that's best for you ... that's huge."

Stitch Fix, a clothing styling service, presents its clients with personalized items that they can choose to add to their wardrobe, using data about past preferences to inform decisions, Cramer said.

"They know what you want better than you do," he said, which allows the company, which went public in November 2017, to cut down on the overwhelming feeling some people experience when shopping.

In the banking sector, Bank of America has emerged as a real leader because of the strength of its personalized banking business and its mobile app.

"They have a remarkable fast-growing deposit base where they're taking market share all over the country," Cramer said, contrasting Bank of America's developments to those of Wells Fargo, which he argued is struggling in large part "because they haven't spent enough money to know how to personalize."

"Personalization is a lot more than a buzzword," Cramer said. "It's become a necessity."

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