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Advertising Personalisation

Five secrets of achieving effective ROI from personalised advertising

By Lesley Duncan, Biddable account director

Harvest Digital


The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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July 10, 2017 | 7 min read

We are in an era where 92% of online ads aren’t even noticed, and, if they are, they’re often an annoyance to the consumer. A seamless advertising strategy isn’t enough anymore. You need to consider the user - and personalisation is the key ingredient.

Harvest Digital - secrets of effective ROI with personalised ads

Along with resourceful localised targeting and personalisation, time of day, day of week and device have never been so critical to ensure an effective ROI on your advertising spend. What’s the point in investing in localised personal ads on Facebook mobile at 10am on a Wednesday, if your target audience are glued to their desktops at work catching up on the morning news?

Consumer consideration, device, creative and the type of media you are buying need to be at the forefront of every digital advertising strategy. So here are five points to ensure an effective ROI from your targeted and personalised ads:

#1 Marketing funnel by device

As we know, understanding customer’s online behaviour and purchase interests are incredibly valuable at every stage of your activity, especially when considering how often a user switches devices throughout the day. With multiple devices at our finger tips advertisers are spoilt for choice in how we deliver ads to our target audiences.

By thinking more strategically about the funnel by device, you will be able to tighten up your ROI.

One of the best ways to ensure your advertising spend is in the right place is through understanding what device your target users are on, at different times of the day.

This provides an extra level of insight into your target user’s digital behaviour and creates a unique online footprint at different stages of the funnel.

For example, mobile ads should be utilised during commuting hours, desktop ads over lunchtimes where activity is browser led, and then back to mobile or tablets during the evenings. This also provides you with an opportunity for dual screens, by supporting your ATL activity enhancing your brand presence.

With this real-time device data you can slowly nurture prospective users through the purchasing funnel, with the most relevant message, at the right time and on the right device.

#2 Consumer consideration

If most of your attention is being focused on ‘hot prospects’, you are limiting your total reach and potential growth. Ideally, your strategy should consider all of your potential customers, not just those who are closer to a purchase.

Brand awareness and response should be a priority when adopting a comprehensive approach, as it is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t limit your scalability. Focus on a larger scope and it will help expand your long-term ROAS, since you keep filling the top of the funnel and have more potential customers within your reach.

These tactics create more sales opportunities down the line. Rather than having a narrow-minded approach of who you think your customers are, you might just be surprised and unveil a pocket of new consumers who you haven’t previously considered. This will not only return a bigger pool of customers, but will also help grow any business regardless of your industry.


#3 Bespoke creative

Over 70% of marketers fail to target consumers with behavioural data. This is pretty mind blowing when you consider Media IQ collects 1.8 trillion digital behaviour data points every-single-day.

The more data you gather the more you learn about your target audience, and the more personalised your ads can become. Customised creative enables us to improve a user’s brand experience and should be utilised at every opportunity.

By examining users' behaviour in real-time you can understand regular browsing habits, or certain triggers as to why a user clicked. You will also be able to understand what creative messaging resonates best with your audience and create bespoke user journeys using search intent data.

According wishpond, over 59% of consumers have a neutral reaction to online ads, where just 30% have a positive reaction. Since the creative is what initially captures attention, nailing the first impression is paramount to a positive reaction and brand presence.

Exploiting dynamic creatives for your prospecting activity can be very effective too. It keeps creative costs down, and allows you to quickly determine which creative is more engaging. From this, you can make small tweaks to your message, CTA or even image to help increase your CTR.

The same goes for creative sequencing. There are so many different types of display ads available to us across multiple platforms, so why only use one? Incorporating rich media ads with native ads drives up to 60% more conversions than those without and produces 308 times more consumer attention than other traditional ad types.

By understanding what type of media your target audience is consuming on each device, you will be able to structure your creative and consider the format that is most relevant to them at the impression point.

Before you know it, you will have a creative bank filled with tailored ad copy, real-time dynamic feed ads and interactive expandable overlays. You can carry this out per audience group too!

When led by consumer behaviour data you will reach users who have a higher propensity to convert, providing you with a more effective result on your advertising spend.

#4 Dynamic retargeting

Dynamic retargeting allows you to show users products you know they are in the market for. This creates extremely powerful and effective personalised ads. In general, only 2% of shoppers convert on their first visit to an online store, retargeting returns the other 98%, so there are huge opportunities to capitalise on your audiences’ site history.

But remember, exclude converts! No one wants a pair of shoes following them around the internet after they have bought them!

Now, how can you begin to join all these secrets together?

#5 Data management platform

Data management platforms (DMPs) have been around for a while but it’s only recently that advertisers have started to realise what a critical role they can play.

Thanks to DMPs we have extensive capabilities to centralise, normalise and analyse big data. They can set up APIs from any data stream, whether it’s first, second or third party data sources. But the best part is that we can create extremely specific audiences to the finest of details and activate them through all your biddable channels.

If you’re concerned that your targeting might be off and are looking to heavily invest in personalised advertising in the future, DMPs can take a lot of pressure off your audience research. You will be surprised with the information and insight you will uncover.

Naturally with all this data a lot of creativity is sparked from discovering information about your customer and prospects database. But to leave you with an interesting question, what should come first? Information or imagination? Data or creativity?

Lesley Duncan is biddable account director at Harvest Digital.

Advertising Personalisation

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Harvest Digital

Harvest Digital is a leading performance-based full service digital marketing agency based in the heart of London. Our clients span many different sectors – finance,...

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