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Digital Marketing 3 min read

How Does Advertising Personalization Work?

Dominick Cabal photo

Written by Dominick Cabal

Digital Media Director @ FRC

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 15 Jul 2020

Marketers rejoice! The world is now full of more and more data touch points, more granular targeting techniques are available, analytics tools are stronger than ever, blockchain and transparency will soon eliminate waste.

But what about us poor consumers. We are inundated with boring or worse, intrusive and boring ads. Brands that follows us around and won’t let up. And generic, almost insulting, “Buy Now!” messaging. Consumers don’t care about media placement or spend, and unless a brand is stealing or hoarding our data, quite frankly my dear, we don’t give a damn.

According to eMarketer, Creativity, Understanding Digital Media and ‘Being Data Literate’, are becoming the most important skills for successful marketers. Consumers on the other hand want more relevant, discoverable, easy and personalized ads.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning are explained within a colorful bubble.

Today, the ad-tech landscape is overrun by data and media ruling the discussion whereas creative has laid on the sidelines. It’s time to think about creativity, storytelling and its intersection with technology.

Here are three broad ways in which marketers can use personalization technology to benefit a brand’s marketing outreach and messaging:

  • Localization – Localization helps advertisers deliver ads based on a variety of external factors, including: the user’s geographic location, the local weather, time of day, day of the week, and local language, just to name a few. Here is a simple example: A Coffee Brand can showcase cold drinks, in Spanish, for consumers on a hot day in Colombia, whereas the same brand can showcase warm drinks, in English, for consumers on a frigid day in Canada.
  • Behavioral – Unlike localization that changes based on external factors, behavioral personalization is about ads experiences that are person-specific such as the consumer’s age, gender, purchase history, online activity and offline activity. One example: An Airline Company knows that a user is a Platinum-Rewards member and often goes to Europe for business. That advertiser can start to promote their new high-end lounges, 5-star hotel partnerships, and perks to this niche user.
  • Real-Time – Real-time creative allow brands to quickly react to real-world events, news, trends, and update the messaging accordingly. Here’s a quick example: A Popular Bike-Exercise gym program in a specific zip code can showcase ads that mention X-number of Bikes left for tomorrow’s 7:00AM with Instructor John Doe.

Leo Burnett once said, “One of the greatest dangers of advertising is not that of misleading people, but that of boring them to death.” How is it with all the glorious data and media tools we have access to nowadays, the best brands in the world can only think of ads featuring those shoes you already bought two weeks ago with “Buy Now” messaging?

We can do better. Creative personalization technology offers the chance to match the right brand, to the right person, at the right time, with the right message. To end with a weird metaphor: Advertising is like dating, sometimes it’s a 1-in-a-1,000,000 chance to find the one. But, seriously, aren’t dating apps so much better?

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Dominick Cabal photo

Dominick Cabal

Digital Media Director @ FRC