Recently, I read that Facebook is working to develop the capability to serve ads that relate to Facebook users’ status updates and posts. Currently, you can only target Facebook ads from the information displayed in a user’s profile. The fact that Facebook wants to take their ad targeting capability to a new level is a wonderful example of how personalization is becoming increasingly important in the digital space.
Anytime you talk about personalization, privacy issues come into play. I won’t touch on that hot topic in this post; however, I would argue that more often than not, personalization efforts are welcomed rather than met with disdain. Here is a snapshot of ways to personalize digital media:
There are many opportunities to personalize email content simply from the information collected in your database. You could address the email directly to the subscriber. For example, “Hi Meredith.” If you know a subscriber’s birthday, send a coupon to wish him or her a happy birthday. On your email signup form, ask people to tell you their interests, and then send dynamic emails based on the content they have requested. If you have an eCommerce site, send people emails with an incentive to purchase the item that they left in their shopping cart.
Although not personalized, there are opportunities to make PPC ads more relevant to a user. The headline of a well written pay-per-click text ad will directly relate to the keywords a user searched. Utilizing dynamic landing pages is another way to make PPC more relevant to make the experience feel personalized.
With sophisticated tracking capabilities, display banners can be targeted based on behavior, geography and demographics. When either method is used, the ad that is being served is more relevant and personal. Here are examples of the types of targeting methods and a few personalized display ads we have come across in this office.
Recently, I visited the Zappos website and perused toddler boots. Later that night while reading on People.com, low and behold, I saw an ad with the exact boots that I had viewed on Zappos, as well as two other pairs for comparison.
If someone is looking for flights to Tennessee, it makes sense to offer them a free Tennessee vacation guide at this point.
While listening to Pandora, an ad for Nashville deals is presented.
Behavioral targeting uses web browsing information to serve people more relevant ads. For example, if I have been reading about the latest fuel efficient car and researching car payments, it would be appropriate to serve an ad for a crossover vehicle.
Personalization lies at the foundation of social marketing. Social offers ample opportunity to have a very personal, one-on-one conversation. Social allows you to directly speak to your customers. When a fan or follower has a question or comment, you can reach them and provide an answer or comment.