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Personalisation. Advertising in the right place, at the right time.4 min read

4 min read

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Successful personalised marketing is only possible if you’ve got access to quality and accurate data. Given the rising costs and competitiveness of advertising today it’s essential you get this right.

There is a real buzz about at the moment around personalisation, not only in marketing but in technology. Highlighted over the last few weeks with Google’s IO and Apple’s WWDC conferences. Google advanced their ‘Google Now’ feature with ‘Now on Tap’. Added to that Apple have released something similar in ‘Proactive’. Both are effectively trying to change the way apps work. Stopping them working in silos and allowing them to interact and present data, exactly when you need it.

If you’re like me then this is pretty exciting. Ideally, I’d like to have been born in about 20 years time, when robots are making your eggs ’n that. Back on subject though, it did get me thinking about how it’s going to impact digital marketing and the opportunities it gives us.

Technology always changes marketing; look at radio, TV, outdoor, smartphones, iPads, and now wearables. The way people use their devices gives us access to so many more data points and wearable tech takes that up another level. Take the apple watch for example, I typically cycle at the weekend and stop off for coffee just before the ride. Using programmatic buying, it’s perfectly conceivable that Starbucks could serve me an ad, on my watch, inviting me for my morning coffee at 20% off. Suddenly the experience of being served an ad goes from tedious to extremely useful. The Content Marketing Institute are calling this “glanceable marketing” which nicely describes the direction we’re heading.


Personalisation certainly isn’t new in digital marketing, but the way we execute it is getting smarter every month. Most of Google’s product releases are around personalising your ads based on user demographics or past behaviours. The simple but extremely effective release of Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) in June 2013 has shown how effective it can be. RLSA allows you to modify your bids, keywords and ad copy based on a customer’s past activity on your website – powerful if executed well. Added to that there is also RLSA for shopping, Demographics for search ads (DFSA) and Google Analytics (GA) + RLSA that all make more efficient advertising. Rolling over to Facebook advertising, you can feed in your current customer CRM data and then look for people similar out of their near 1.5b users.

CRM data

Opportunities to personalise everywhere right? Correct. However, the problem with a lot of this is that brands don’t have the 1st party data to execute the above. From what I’ve seen this is mainly down to setting up analytics tracking badly, a poor CRM system, lack of fresh data and mainly a lack of resources.

For example one advertiser, I met recently spends millions per year on Adwords yet doesn’t use GA or know their customer lifetime value… talk about inefficient. They run their search, remarketing, programmatic display, Facebook and Twitter on five different platforms. Oh and one more platform to track it all.

The trouble with this is your data becomes messy. Platforms all report it differently; attribution becomes a nightmare and as a result spend gets deployed inefficiently.

If your business isn’t working to an attribution model, dictated by data, then you’re losing. Businesses who get this set up sooner rather than later will win in the long run. Understanding how people use your service or buy your products is essential in personalising your marketing.

You can run all of your advanced bid management on search campaigns, programmatic display, remarketing and social ads on platforms like Google’s DoubleClick. Tagging all of your advertising campaigns up correctly gives you a much more accurate picture of your customer. You can share audience data across channel, de-dupe conversion data and ultimately get a lot closer to a ‘single customer view’.

I’ll leave you with this. You can be as clever as you want, but without fresh and quality data you’re back to bidding on the keyword… and that’s expensive.[/text_output][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][visibility type=”hidden-desktop”][gap size=”20px”][/visibility][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”ups-sidebar-2″][/vc_column][/vc_row]