Don’t hyper-target … hyper-personalize

An interesting post from Adweek recently reported that ‘A Hyper-Targeted Audience Is Not Necessarily the Right Audience’, and that marketers need to focus on “people, not proxies”.

The article goes on to explain that while “targeting is a valuable tool for marketers, its lack of context and accuracy annoys consumers to the point where they’re opting out of ads altogether, and the industry is taking note”.

Mashable recently reported over 40m consumers use ad blockers, with a quarter of respondents finding targeted ads “Creepy or intrusive” and 9 out of 10 respondents saying they don’t have any plans of turning their blockers off.

Adweek’s feature goes on to say that most ‘low-fidelity’ targeting, based on programmatic tools, past purchasing history, demographic identifiers and cookies, offers an imprecise portrait of a brand’s audience and an impersonal end user experience.

The solution? Develop more high-fidelity targeting models, “personal, in-context and highly relevant to (the audience’s) needs and emotions… built on rich, person-level data sources… to ensure the accuracy, relevance and potential receptivity of that audience to a message are spot on.”

If you are a marketer or advertiser, you are probably wondering how to go about enhancing this experience to avoid turning off consumers by executing a more creative, personal, precise campaign. This approach is called ‘hyper-personalization’, as Sandra Peterson, Absolutdata’s VP of marketing, explains in a recent guest blog for MYcustomer.com:

“In its simplest terms, hyper-personalization is a campaign strategy that addresses not only who the consumer is but what they are interested in at the present moment. It is an incredibly effective strategy that can drive sales up to 50% higher, according to at least one study.”

Peterson suggests a few simple steps towards hyper-personalizing your marketing strategy, including dividing customer data to more accurately target potential buyers, starting with age and gender; using your information on age, interests and gender to “ramp up” personalization; and letting marketing software handle the data – “Today’s software is capable of drilling down to granular details to … serve up content tailored for an individual customer.”

As digital platforms increase and marketing becomes more data-driven, not only are the media used to offer content changing, so also are the ways it is being delivered, and a hyper-personalized approach is being increasingly sought by marketers everywhere, as it can provide a competitive edge, enhance productivity, and target audiences more accurately.