Mass Personalization Over Mass Marketing

Why mass personalization and People-Based Marketing are the future of advertising

February 17, 2018

Mass Personalization

This guest post was contributed by Kevin Mallon, Partnership Manager at AdParlor.

It’s February. For most of us, by this time of the year, our resolutions have gone out the window, and we have reverted to the old habits we swore we would move away from. It's the same in digital advertising. Like clockwork, companies are falling over themselves to splash out on big, expensive ad campaigns that will likely not improve sales or awareness for their brand. Even worse – these campaigns may run the risk of offending their target customer when they launch them.

So why keep doing it? Here we are, 100 years after John Wanamaker famously said that half of advertising dollars are wasted on ads that just don’t work, and marketers are still wasting money by showing the same ad to their entire audience.

We know what successful ads look like now, because we can quantitatively measure their success. What is the secret to a successful ad? It’s that a great ad looks different for everyone. Mass personalization in advertising works more effectively than mass marketing. Period.

You heard me correctly. That $10 million ad you just commissioned? It’s not going to work for most of your target audience! But you’ve read Wanamaker, so you already knew that, right? So you are probably already focusing on mass personalization in your advertising campaigns. If not, then it’s time to change the terrible habits from mass marketing in your digital advertising campaigns.

Still need proof? Last year, AdParlor performed deep dive analysis on more than 50 large digital media advertisers. The results were astonishing: Most of these companies had wasted between 20 percent and 50 percent of their 2017 social media spend. One of the main culprits behind this waste was ineffective creative. After some digging into why, we found that most of these advertisers are still signing off on creative by consensus, rather than by data.

What if I told you that you could achieve 42 percent greater returns if your ads featured products from a single category instead of multiple categories, or get a 28 percent higher return from ads that stated, “X dollars off” instead of “X percent off”? Would you still make decision by committee?

In order to combat ad dollar wastage, you need to create data driven messaging that speaks to the people you are trying to reach; enter mass personalization with what we People-Based Marketing.

What is People-Based Marketing? It’s the idea that you can show the perfect combination of imagery, video and copy to drive actions at the right stage of the consumer cycle. It’s the idea that you are executing this at the right place and at the exact right time for the consumer.

Now, we’re not completely there yet. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start to work towards it. Think about doing the following as you create your campaigns to get closer to mass personalization and People-Based Marketing:

  • Segmenting your campaigns as specifically as possible
  • Create lots of iterations of imagery, video and copy to test against
  • Optimize them continuously
  • Expect a tangible return on your investment
  • Measure your results based on Return on Ad Spend

Don’t get me wrong, this is approach isn’t easy. Without the right tools, it can take up enormous amounts of time and resources to get it right. It might also require a pretty profound cultural shift within your organization. But, the end result will be worth the work. Mass personalization and People-Based Marketing will boost your ROI and help to extract value from 100 percent of your media dollars.

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