Adaptive Persuasion: What really makes us click?

By Tania Feeley, Managing Partner



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February 19, 2020 | 5 min read

Since the early 1990s we’ve been obsessed with data, with narrowing our audience into smaller and smaller segments to achieve the perceived nirvana of one-to-one marketing. But while we’ve been obsessing about and investing in consumer data for efficiency, we’ve overlooked the other half of the story. There’s a new kind of data that has been there all along, we just didn’t have the capability until recently to harness it.

RAPP on how brands can better automate personalised marketing.

RAPP on how brands can better automate personalised marketing.

Content is data too so how we connect with people through it to create emotional connections is game changing.

Change the game with content data

Content is what makes us click. The images, the layout, the offers, the copy, the colours. And those images, layouts, offers, copy and colours - they can all be boiled down to data too. And where there are data points, there is potential for machine learning and ultimately machine creativity.

And that’s the new marketing frontier. Not only who clicks, but what will lead each individual to click and why. Because with machine creativity, we can now do something about that too.

Now you can be all things to all people

Advertising can be deconstructed and reconstituted in a million different configurations, so we no longer have to deal in so-called “universal human truths” anymore or lowest common denominator truths as I prefer to call them.

We can target everyone. Because everyone is potentially a customer of your brand. Whether you’re selling cars, cable TV or canned tuna. We just have to figure out how to turn each of them on. Which is where adaptive persuasion comes in. The ability to automatically tailor ads and communications based on your personality type.

We’re all different. Introverted or extrovert, people’s personality types will affect their decision making and this is where marketing is starting to get really interesting.

Adapting content based on personality types will impact the bottom line

At RAPP, we’ve done quantitative research into how different personalities respond to different advertising stimulus. Working with Datasine and business academics in the US, we looked into what happens when you adapt advertising to personality type.

We found that subtle differences in the same communication reimagined for one end of the personality spectrum versus the other makes a significant difference. For example, introverts apparently prefer their TVs facing to the left, extroverts to the right. Introverts prefer a more recessive white background to the flash sale message on the left, extroverts respond better when it’s bright yellow and in the top right position.

With so many variants in the mix – behavioural targeting, channel proliferation, real time communications and now multiple personality dimensions – content production now requires automation. With advances in AI and machine learning, we’re now able to do so.

For example, for one luxury fashion brand we work with, 80% of their global advertising, both on and offline, is machine generated and managed by just six people in London instead of endless people in a production studios fiddling with photo crops and resizing. That represented a saving of £1M in year one to create 40% more advertising.

Machines will never replace creativity, they’ll just free up more time for it

People really are individuals and through Adaptive Persuasion™ we’re now able to target them as such – responding to their personality types to create communications that will actively influence their decision making. By tailoring communications to the ocean personality dimensions we have seen uplifts in sales response of up to 50%.

Machines will never replace creative people. At least not in the foreseeable future. But machines can do the mundane repeatable tasks that stop people from being more creative. Imagine how much happier your creative department would be if all they had to do was come up with new ideas to beat the old ones all day long!

Tania Feeley, managing partner at RAPP UK.


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