Guest Column: Personalisation is the key to a digital marketer's success: Tarun Sinha, OLX

The Business Head of Advertising at OLX India gives four mantras to ace the art of personalisation in advertising

e4m by Tarun Sinha
Published: Aug 1, 2018 8:54 AM  | 4 min read

How often have you skipped an ad without giving it a second glance? We do that frequently, right? This is usually because a lot of times the ads we see are not relevant to what we want or need. Message relevance in digital advertising is imperative for any campaign to be successful. Personalisation-- the tailoring of messages for individuals based on their actual behaviour-- promises to address this issue.

Receiving content such as ads, offers and promotions that have nothing to do with their interests is annoying for consumers and does not garner any attention. For marketers to avoid being overlooked in the cluttered digital advertising space, personalisation is the key to success.

If personalisation is spot-on, it enables marketers to deliver messages that are tuned into, and to some extent, can even predict what customers really want.

As per a report by McKinsey, personalisation can reduce acquisition costs by 50 per cent, increase revenue by 5 to 15 per cent and impact efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30 per cent. Personalisation no doubt drives growth. But to scale it, a marketer need to do these four things right.

Use data-based intelligence for targeting

Even though personalisation is consumer-led, it is essentially data-driven. Today, technology has made it possible to collect data from users’ online browsing patterns, social platforms and across devices. Marketers need to navigate this big data landscape and use it effectively in order to target ad campaigns. The focus should be to gather first party data, offered by publishing platforms.

Insights obtained from the data can range from the basic demographic information to more specific insights such as micro or exact location, specific interest, buying intent, and even historical behavioural patterns. Determining interests and behaviour algorithmically allows targeting users more accurately.

Explore programmatic advertising solutions to automate your targeting

Programmatic advertising has been around for a long time now. But in India, it has been introduced in the last couple of years and is at a very nascent stage. Marketers and agencies still prefer the traditional way of media buying, but they need to be educated about the bright side of programmatic and the perks that come with it. Programmatic advertising is one such tool that uses technology to buy and sell ad inventory through an automated data-driven procedure and delivers the marketing message at a larger scale. Programmatic helps identify consumer signals and trigger advertising messages more efficiently.

By removing human intervention from the process wherever possible, programmatic promises to make the ad buying process more efficient and thereby more cost effective. Nowadays, more and more of the digital marketing budget is being spent on programmatic ad buying and even agencies are eager to buy as much media as possible through programmatic channels. There is no way to tell what percentage of digital advertising in the country is now programmatic, but this channel is growing at a faster rate than any other within the digital industry.

Go native to capture higher attention

This form of advertising is catching up among the marketers. Native ads are those that follow the natural form/visual format/content of the environment in which it is placed. When combined with a programmatic platform, native advertising can reach a far more targeted audience in real time and at scale. The unique placement of ads targets the right audience for the content while they are actively looking for something new and interesting to discover. A platform such as OLX, designed to help buyers meet sellers, offers a vast contextual environment for advertisers with a highly engaged audience.

Become relevant for your consumer with apt content

Personalised and contextual advertising provides a great opportunity for brands to get creative with the content. It is all about creating distinctive and relevant content that is more focused on the targeted consumer. Also, choosing the right format and medium to deliver it-- from size and words to visuals, audio and/or video features-- has a perceptible impact on the ads' effectiveness.

The message must have consistency across channels and a different tone for different targets. In this era of instant gratification, it is imperative for advertisers to offer appropriate relevant content to catch the consumer’s eye straightway. You miss the mark and they are gone.

(The author is Business Head of Advertising, OLX India)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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