How to Personalize & Scale Your Digital Marketing

If you’re in the marketing industry I’m sure you tune in each Sunday night to watch Mad Men.

I know I do.

Mad Men is incredibly beautiful and well done. The shows producers suck you into the world of the 1960’s through the fashion, interior design, and product placement such Jaguar, Life Cereal and Lucky Strike, to name a few. It creates a very intimate, personal experience for the viewer.

Now, imagine you are completely drawn into the viewing experience and BAM, the show cuts to commercial break. It’s abrupt. It disrupts the experience. Not because it’s cutting into your precious Mad Men time, but because it’s an advertisement for an iPad, a device that wasn’t even a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye in the 1960’s.

Enter: Personalization Marketing

A few brands, including Lincoln and Johnny Walker, hopped on the personalization band wagon and created a 60’s look and feel ad for the Mad Men premiere for two reasons:

  1. Grab the attention of those fast forwarding through commercials. Viewers see the ad in the midst of their skipping and because it looks like the show they stop forwarding, thinking the show started, but then just keep watching because the commercial is now relevant and compelling.
  2. Be a part of the Mad Men experience.  As mentioned above, Mad Men is captivating not only for it's story line and characters, but for the visuals. A few brands latched on to that, took advantage, and became part of the viewing experience.

The issue with this route is that it can’t scale. Brands spend millions of dollars on one TV Spot and in some cases that ad is only relevant once a week.

TV can’t scale personalization marketing, but digital can.

Enter: Using Digital to Scale Personalization Marketing

So you understand that personalization is important, you’re actually ready to jump through your computer and hit me over the head because you’re sick of me talking about it.

But the real question is, how do you get it in front of a ton of people if you’re ad says a really specific thing?

Here are two easy examples:

Scale Example #1: Competitive Angle

If your brand is competing against big competitors, then it’s easy to create an ad that says why a user should chose you.  For example, you could use keyword targeting in your paid search or  banner advertising to easily get that message in front of hand raisers actively looking for competitive solutions.

Let’s say your a cloud base service, right off the bat you have three BIG competitors: Box, Dropbox, & Sharepoint. Let’s just take one, Box.

  • Google's Keyword Analysis Tool shows queries with the word, "Box" (relating to of course) generate more than 400,000 searches per month
  • That equals 12% of the 3.5MM viewers that tuned into the Mad Men Premiere
  • A single personalized paid search or banner ad would reach 400,000 of those viewers for as little as $15,000 a month compared to the budget it takes to shoot a TV ad and purchase the media space

Also, this way, there are zero wasted impressions.  You are talking to EXACTLY who you need to be saying EXACTLY what they need hear.

Scale Example #2: Audience Segmentation

Who uses your product?

Let’s stick to the cloud example.

If your product is an Enterprise Cloud Solution, Enterprise Business Decision Makers (BDM’s) would clearly be an easy sell. Typically, these are director level or C-suite employees within the company.

Guess what? You’re in luck, because Enterprise CEO’s are constantly being talked about and other CEO’s read what their competitors are up to!

So a simple solution: Target content related to this audience!

For instance, there are 319,000 pages of content talking about Box CEO Aaron Levie. Not only are you talking to the right audience, but adding in the competitive edge. Double wammy.

Enter: Real Life Examples of Personalization Marketing

So, we talked about what Personalization Marketing looks like on TV and how to use digital to scale this practice. Now, let’s look at two real life examples of brands that are personalizing the paid search and banner experience for users:

Competitive Angle

For paid search, use your keyword list to create text ads including language that speaks to exactly to the users search query.

In keeping with the cloud example, a user searches for the following:

"Box for Enterprise"

Your brands ad should first speak to the audience, in this case Enterprise, and then identify why they should chose your solution.

For example:

Continue the personalization experience from the ad onto the website.  Drive these users to a landing page that speaks directly to how someone would use your product to solve their specific pain point.

Tables are great ways to line yourself up against your competitors, like the example below:


Audience Segmentation

Now that you know how to get in front of the right people, let’s talk about product messaging: what should you say to them?

For instance, when targeting the female caretaker segment, the ad should have a woman taking care of someone. Simple as that.

On top of the personalization marketing best practices we’ve discussed in this article, you still want to ensure your banner ads follow best practices for performance as outlined in our previous post here.

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