Speak to Your Audience, Not at Them! | DMA

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Speak to Your Audience, Not at Them!


With the tools we have available to us, we’ve got scale and we’ve got data to reach the right person at the right time but all of this can only go so far if what we’re sending out to the world is the banner equivalent of a broken record. It’s all about completing the holy trinity and sending out a correctly tailored message as well. But how can you achieve personalisation at scale you might ask?

Enter dynamic creatives!

Link your ads to a feed and you can start personalising your messaging so you can speak to your audience in a way that is relevant, not at them with the same standardised message over and over again. (You can find out more about dynamic creatives and their other great benefits from my colleague Aaminah’s blog post). Using a granular campaign set up, we can then easily segment out potential customers using an ever growing number of data signals to deliver them this differentiated messaging.

Personalising at scale

With the current limit of 100,000 lines of feed that you can use to run ad variations on, there is a multitude of ways you could tailor your messaging for different audience types. Here are some of the simpler strategies to get you started.

Let’s say for example, as a travel company your 18-30 target audience may be more responsive to a message that appeals to their young, carefree spontaneous lives, that suggests a destination most likely to be within their budget – let’s say a beach holiday in Spain. The 50-60 audience segment may respond better to a message that creates more nostalgia; a place they've always want to visit, some vineyards in Italy perhaps? A simple switch of image here is already an effective personalisation based on age and most likely holiday aspirations.

Your audience can also be sliced and diced based on their web behaviour as well. Split your feed out by your different data lists and you can tailor messaging to each one. How about differentiating between those that have been on your site and those that haven’t – i.e. having different ads for re-marketing to and prospecting? (Keep an eye out for my colleague Adam's blog on prospecting, coming soon).

It is fair to make an assumption that those who have already visited the site, (and, say, not bounced) have developed some affinity with your brand. So, delivering a pure branding message to these potential customers is a message wasted. Instead, what is required to push these users further down the conversion funnel? Is it a strong CTA telling them to “convert now”? Alternatively, having already shown them your main USPs in your prospecting ads and brought them to your website, you may now want to show them messaging more focused around your secondary USPs. These could be the final tipping-point factors such as your company’s customer service record that brings your customer back to convert.

Further down the line it could also be advantageous to have specific messaging for existing customers that shows you care; perhaps in particular those coming round to a contract renewal or to encourage a repeat purchase.

Some of this is still possible with traditional ad trafficking and the uploading of multiple sets of standard creatives. However, the cost and time involved for both client and agency ultimately becomes a sticking point. When you can change copy, add in segments and switch up a strategy just by editing a feed that updates your creatives in real-time, the dream scenario of scale and personalisation comes true.

As a recruiter for example, you may want to make people aware that you not only have lots of high-quality jobs on your site, but also how many you have within a specific sector in the city that they are in or nearest to. Link your creatives to a feed and your creatives can dynamically insert geo-specific messaging too.

With the use of the full DoubleClick stack there are other exciting features that get us closer to delivering the right message. We can capitalise on the integration between search and display campaigns to remarket to people based on their original search query that brought them to your site. Again, if you hadn’t guessed it, these lists will update themselves dynamically.

If you sold fridges for example, you can differentiate your messaging for those searching for “cheap” fridges and those that are more interested in “eco” fridges and test both variations against a standardised control message.

audience ad testing

But where do we draw the line?

In an attempt to show the right message is there a risk of it being too close to the bone and in fact the wrong message? Over-personalisation and over-intensity can freak people out. My mother for example was just the other day complaining that “some wretched hoover was following her around the internet.” (Not one of our clients, I might add!) I think she might throw her computer out of the window if it starts telling her that the specific brand car she brought 18 months ago could be upgraded at her local dealership, 15 miles from her house for just £9,999.

As has always been the case, a lot of careful consideration and controls need to be put in place to prevent advertising from feeling overly invasive. It is important to come up with a message that resonates with someone, can successfully generate a direct response or some brand affinity, without coming across like you’ve been hiding in their car boot for the last week! This requires knowing your target audience and the best way to reach them using creativity, audience insight and of course ad testing.

Personally I think that despite this risk, marketers shouldn’t be afraid to test greater message personalisation. These days for example I would no longer find it surprising to see an ad telling me to return to my car insurance quote and sending me direct to the page that I left from so I can easily do so. In fact, I’d feel inclined to appreciate the convenience of it all.

After all, if you don’t test, you can’t learn. So, if you feel like you need to branch out and move on from that trusted CTA, or you have so many copy ideas and you don’t know where to start, get in touch to start testing dynamically!

To view the blog as written by Programmatic Account Manager, Sophie Barwood, please visit Periscopix's blog.

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