Friday, December 18th, 2015 | 6 min read
Consumers are tired of boring and irrelevant ads.
Think about it: How many times have you been shown an ad that had absolutely nothing to do with your interests? Considering you’re confronted with 5,000 marketing messages per day, it’s a pretty safe bet you don’t waste a second on the ones that don’t directly appeal to you. And here’s the hard truth: Your audience doesn’t, either.
In fact, according to a recent Gigya study, 65% of email users were likely to unsubscribe from a brand’s emails if they weren’t relevant to their interests. Even worse, 16% were inclined to stop buying from the brand, and 11% were likely to talk negatively about the brand to others in-person or on social media.
As a result, if you want your content to drive engagement, it needs to be as relevant as possible to your target audience. And personalization is important to the bottom line. As Harvard Business Review reported, personalized ads can generate five to eight times ROI and a 10% sales lift.
You don’t need to look any further than the two biggest players in digital advertising to see the importance of personalization. Google measures it with a Quality Score and Facebook measures it with a Relevance Score. For paid search, a high Quality Score indicates that a marketer’s ad, keywords, and landing page are very relevant to consumers’ interests. For paid social, a high Relevance Score is based on positive feedback from the people seeing it and on how the ad is performing.
Still, it’s one thing to understand the importance of personalization and another to execute it properly. You want to be as responsive as possible to consumers’ interests, but you don’t want your personalized content to fall into what Harvard Business Review calls “the uncanny valley,” where computer-generated programs deceptively pass themselves off as humans. That is, you don’t want your consumers to feel like you’re invading their privacy or just shooting robotic messages at them. Otherwise, they will turn away from what you’re trying to say.
Brands that want to continue to successfully engage their audiences must figure out how to personalize the customer experience in a way that is not invasive or annoying for the consumer, but is still efficient for the advertiser.
The question is: How exactly do you do that? Here’s what you need to know.
The more channels you communicate to your customers on, the more data you collect about your audience. If you send out messages via email, push notifications, Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, unique information about your audience is integrated into each of those different databases. The problem is, the information from each platform has no way of being connected. As a result, data is siloed, and it’s difficult to get a strong grasp on the customer journey and the role each channel plays in that process.
To best understand your target user’s behavior and where they stand in your marketing funnel, you need to look at all of this data together. This way, you can gain insight into when consumers last engaged with your brand, what messages they responded to, and what their next steps (if any) were. Then, you can use this information to craft the most relevant content for them and release it in the right place, at the right time.
For instance, say you want to create an ad that targets women aged 18-35 who visit your website, follow your Facebook page, and engage with your emails, but have not purchased a product from you in 180 days. You’ll only be able to reach that specific audience if you’ve collected data from your Facebook, website, ecommerce store and email service in one place.
You might be thinking: with activities flooding into each platform every second, how can I possibly collect all of the information I need in a timely manner and still manage to push out real-time messages to segmented audiences? After all, even if you have an analyst on staff who can help you pull what you need from each team, by the time you receive that data, it will be outdated.
The solution? Find an automated audience management system that collects all of this data for you. In other words, this system will act as a bridge between the various ad tools and platforms you’re already using, bringing your data together in one easily-accessible place.
This system should also allow you to use your collected data to serve relevant content across multiple platforms. This way, all you have to do is pick the desired segment, create an ad that speaks to that audience, and launch it—all from one platform.
As consumers move through the customer journey, they can see the exact message you want them to see, when you want them to see it. For instance, once a customer views a video, you can drive them to a relevant blog post and then connect them to your retail site.
Don’t be the brand that pushes unwanted and irrelevant messages on its audience. Be the brand that reaches people with ads so personal they feel like they were individually crafted for each buyer.
By feeding your audience management system with comprehensive data from multiple platforms, you can automate campaigns to reach audiences in a more personalized way—without eating up your time or budget. Your consumers will be thankful for content that actually appeals to their interests, and you’ll reap the rewards with ROI.