Karys Nella
Karys Nella 30 August 2019

Believe the Hype: Personalisation is the Future of Advertising

The era of individualisation is upon us. Never before has there been such a strong focus on our consumer behaviours, our lifestyles and preferences. Algorithms work anonymously in the background of our lives, drawing information on how we like to spend our time, our location, our favourite shows, all with the intent of making our user experience smoother.

There’s a reason that Netflix’s library cover art blends to its user preferences, and why Coca Cola launched its much-lauded ‘Name Branded’ drinks range. 

As consumers, we are targeted by ads in many different areas of our lives, while on the go, on our laptops, or in the cinema. This plethora of ads, as well as the divergent messages, colours and catchy phrases they push, can become overwhelming at times. As such, “Ad Fatigue” was labeled as an affliction of both the advertising industry and the consumer. This pandemic meant consumers were being shown the same advert again and again, creating an over-saturation within the industry. For marketers, this resulted in lower engagement rates and unmemorable ads that can easily get lost in the marketing matrix. Thanks to shifting consumer habits and data regulations, marketers have had to realign many of their strategies in the past couple of years. 

Looking forward, what are we to expect from the future of advertising? 

Feeling Valued

The impending GDPR laws were met with trepidation. Since its implementation, however, marketers have been presented with a rich array of opportunities to create memorable advertising. 

While met with slight apprehension, GDPR got the whole world discussing how advertisers collect and use personal data. When we asked consumers how they felt about this use of data (in a recent survey commissioned by London-based Sapio Research), results demonstrated how much consumers understand personalised advertising, and how open they are to receiving better personalised experiences. Over 70% of consumers surveyed felt that their data had become more valuable to advertisers over time, showing that consumers have become increasingly aware of how advertising works in tandem with their preferences, lifestyles, and habits. Marketers now have the chance to make that value apparent, and should aim to make content that is engaging enough to stop thumbs swiping. Bring on the rise of personalisation. 

Cut Through the Noise

Personalisation is a powerful tool in the era of “Ad Fatigue”. Being able to pack a punch with ads that create meaning, and which consider the context of the consumers they are targeting (their location, age, habits, favourite brands etc) has revolutionised the way marketers engage with their consumers. 

Personalisation is the way forward for advertisers looking to stay heard in the digital age, and the wheels are already in motion. When we asked consumers whether they had seen a personalised ad on TV, over half (59%) stated that they had. But more critically - of the consumers that said they had, only a fifth (20%) could confidently recall what the brand or product was related to. If memorability is the driving factor behind advertising, it seems personalised advertising needs more sticking power to enable brand voices to be heard. 

Getting Personal

For marketers to improve personalised advertising, they need to become better tailors. 70% of the consumers we asked stated that their experiences with advertisers had improved now that ads are becoming better suited to them. Consider O2’s ‘Tariff Refresh’, which made use of location data and device information in order to tailor messages to its users. The result? Personalised ads performed 128% better in terms of click-through rate. 

For marketers, capitalising off the wealth of data available to them, connecting the dots, and creating personas of their consumer base, are all driving factors towards improved ROI. Marketers should look to consider convenience over anything when applying personalisation to marketing strategies, thus ensuring an optimised user experience overall. After all, creating a frictionless, personalised advertising experience is the key to reigning in your consumer - and keeping them coming back. 

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