Is personalisation an effective advertising strategy?

Ad industry experts share insights on the importance of personalisation in ad campaigns

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Aug 12, 2019 2:12 PM


Personalization in Advertising

Personalisation in advertising provides consumers with specific content that interests them. The content is tailor-made to the consumers’ liking to garner a high ROI. In recent times, with advertising technologies being advanced, personalisation has become more potent and widespread. For example, the brand Coca Cola came out with the #ShareACoke campaign by replacing the soft drinks logo with consumers’ names.

exchange4media spoke to advertising industry heads on personalisation in campaigns and how important it is in today’s cluttered atmosphere.

According to Raghu Bhat, Founder & Copywriter, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi, personalisation is a powerful tool. Bhat remarks, “Netflix’ not only personalises the page for each user but also chooses the lead images that are likely to resonate with the consumer. This adds value to the experience.”

Personalisation is valuable because the clearer and relevant your messaging is, the more likely the consumer is to make a purchase says Sampath Rengacheri, SVP, Merkle Sokrati. He adds that personalisation improves conversion rates, decreases the sales funnel cycle and gives an excellent user experience. “It all boils down to understanding the consumer using the vast but fragmented data available and the greater level of personalisation you will be able to bring in”, he shared. 

At Merkle, Rengacheri says they have developed a Merkle Framework for personalisation derived from people-based marketing principles. Rengacheri stated, “It follows three basic steps, collect in one place all data including website, app, social, CRM, 3rd party. The second step is analysis. To identify an individual consumers' preferences from all these data points, creating a ‘Single View of the Consumer’. After this, you plug it into a smart Content Management System (CMS) and you'll be able to personalise a consumer's web experience. For example, a car buyer coming back to the website will immediately see the exact car and modifications that interested the buyer. The homepage will look different and personalised to each of the thousands of visitors in real-time.”

Agnello Dias, Creative Chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network India, comments that personalisation in brand communication was always challenged by the simple math of the cost per target reached being ridiculously out of the range of mass media. “Now, the influence of digital has brought that cost of personalisation down. Advertisers can use data to finely slice insights and have many of them at the same cost. The bane of talking to the lowest common denominator in order to widen reach gets mitigated to some extent,” remarks Dias.
Speaking on how advertisers can personalize the consumers’ experience Radhikarani Sengupta, Digital Director, MediaCom, says, “Based on the data that brands collect directly or via advertising platforms, there are options available today to customize some part of the creative. For example, with dynamic creative optimization, it is possible to customize the communication based on either user interests, time of day or context and more advertisers have an opportunity to leverage that. Similarly based on user behaviour on own website/ads, it is possible for advertisers to customize re-marketing ads better than just product and price. Yet other than e-commerce players, few advertisers take advantage of these options in the branding space. One example of this is when Mondelez ran customized creatives based on the cricket events in the match which is more relevant and therefore more likely to attract attention.” 

There are multiple tools that brands can invest, based on what information they want to collect. Suraj Nambiar, Managing Partner & National Media Head, Tonic Worldwide, states, “Gipsi is one such tool that we at Tonic Worldwide have created to serve this propose. We can provide actionable insights to brands based on multiple online and offline data sets. The brands have to first evaluate the data that they are already collecting and data that they would like to collect. Users are then placed in different buckets and given personalised communication.”
Tonic Worldwide has done multiple campaigns that come from data-driven insights, shares Nambiar. He adds, “While we do personalisation for our brands on an everyday basis by building custom CDP’s, one campaign that stands out is the Flying Machine Power Pockets campaign. This came from customer insights that women are looking for bigger pockets in their jeans. These insights lead to a special range Flying Machine created and launched it on Women’s Day.”
“One example of personalisation that MediaCom has recently developed is a voice-based Google Assistant user journey for an auto brand with all the details around a new launch. Based on how the user wants to know more about the new launch we built a journey that spoke to him based on the questions he wanted to be answered and closed the loop right for an interested customer with a test drive”, shares Sengupta.

Personalisation for us is at two levels shares Mohit Joshi, MD India, Havas Media Group. Joshi says, “One, is understanding the audience and breaking them down into media addressable sub-segments. Two is mapping communication based on the medium selected. These two factors are helping bridge the gap between clients expected KPI & observed KPI. Imagine an ad run on your Instagram which says, you forgot to checkout this item from your shopping bag. Personalisation clicks with the audience more than anything else.” 


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