Advertising is a great way to reach new customers. It’s a crucial part of running and growing a business in today’s crowded online space. But your customers are more than numbers on an analytics report. They’re individuals with unique needs and tastes. Serving them well – building meaningful relationships that last years and create loyal customers – is the lifeblood of your business.
So maybe you feel like you’re in a bind.
You need to advertise to get the word out about your business. But you also recognize the stigma attached to it; you don’t want to create an unpleasant experience for your target customers. How do you address these concerns and strike a profitable balance? How do you create ad campaigns that customers don’t just tolerate, but actually look forward to?
The key is personalized marketing.
Generic Ads Aren’t Enough
Back in the days when television was still new, generic, broadcast style advertisements were the norm. Consumers didn’t know anything different. And because there were only a few major networks available, it was easy for big advertisers to flood the market with inventory. History revealed that consumers put up with this arrangement only because they didn’t have any other options. They didn’t have technology like TiVo to fast-forward through commercials or the option to purchase cable packages featuring ad-free programming. In short, TV viewers only tolerated generic ads due to a lack of options. They didn’t enjoy these experiences, and many ditched them as soon as technology made it possible. A similar transformation is happening online. As the Internet expands and matures, generic advertising techniques that worked a decade ago simply won’t work anymore. Consumers are demanding something different. They’re demanding personalization.
The Battle for Consumer Attention
Competition online has gotten intense, with thousands of new businesses popping up every day. It’s practically impossible – and a lot more expensive – for advertisers to flood the market with ad inventory. Even if they were able to pull it off, they’d probably be disappointed with the results if their ads weren’t personalized to suit each potential customer. Some advertisers have responded to this growing pressure by becoming more aggressive and flashy with their ads. But that’s the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It doesn’t address the root issues of why their ad campaigns are struggling: increased competition and a lack of personalization. Most consumers don’t even see generic banner ads anymore. And even when they do, click through rates are pitifully low. Advertisers are fighting tooth and nail for valuable consumer attention. But for many, winning that attention is nothing more than a hollow victory. After all, what’s the point of drawing attention to your business if you do so in a way that puts off potential customers?
Using Personalized Marketing to Give Consumers What They Want
So, how can you create profitable ad campaigns in today’s ultra competitive online environment? And how can you do this in a way that makes people excited instead of repulsed? The answer is personalization. An infographic from Monetate revealed that 75% of consumers prefer retailers use their personal information to improve their shopping experience. And nearly two thirds, 64%, believed it’s more important that companies present them with relevant offers. Creating personalized ad campaigns doesn’t just give consumers what they want. It creates a win-win scenario; your ads treat consumers exactly how they want to be treated and deliver strong returns. You can rest easy knowing you’re building relationships with potential customers as individuals instead of trying to strong-arm a group of people into action.
Delivering Personal Attention in an Impersonal Digital Space
In a digital space full of scammers and fly by night operations, consumers want to do business with someone they know, like, and trust. Most importantly, they want to feel valued as unique individuals. They crave personal attention and authentic connections – not broad-brush treatment that makes them feel like just another number. Consumers used to get this kind of personal attention in their business transactions before the Internet took off. If someone stopped by their local bank, for instance, they’d probably recognize the people working there. The teller might even remember them by name. Things shifted with the explosion of digital. Doing business online offered convenience and huge scale, but those innovations came with a cost: a loss of personal connection between buyers and sellers.Programmatic is helping digital advertisers take this trend full circle. It’s allowing them the scale they need to grow and the ability to give consumers the personal attention they desire.
Instead of “spraying and praying” generic display ads across the Internet and hoping the right people see them, you can use personalization to revolutionize the ad experience for your target customers. Using data helps you understand exactly who each consumer is and what they’d like. Then you can serve that content up to them on a silver platter. That’s what Dafiti, a Brazilian fashion retailer, did. They delivered personalized product recommendations to users in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, one of the most popular online shopping days in Brazil. Dafiti based their recommendations on each consumer’s purchase history instead of displaying the same generic ad to everyone. This resulted in a 50% sales increase over the two-week period. Zuji, a travel company, found similar success with a personalized ad campaign. They tracked people who’d visited their website and retargeted them with new deals and offers as they browsed the web. Consumers got relevant, intent-based ad creative that helped them with their travel planning. And order values were 25% greater than Zuji’s average for display advertising.
The First Step in Changing Consumers’ Perception of Advertising
In their quest to thrive in today’s online space, advertisers face consumer skepticism and intense competition for limited attention. Beyond that, they face a stigma that ads are something to be avoided. Decades of bland, generic advertising have colored consumers’ perceptions. Changing people’s minds of what “advertising” is and how they should respond to it is possible, though it will be a lengthy, gradual process. In an impersonal digital world, you can use personalized ads to deliver intimate, personal experiences that set you apart from your competitors. You won’t change your target customers’ minds about advertising overnight.
But you can start turning the tide today.