To add value to the customers’ lives, marketers must identify each customer and recognize their expectations based on their demographics, location, age, gender, purchase patterns, behavior, preferences, budget, shopping journey, and many more aspects.
When you understand customers, you can create and deliver unique shopping experiences, that exceed their expectations and drive customer loyalty.
Here are a few facts, according to a 2019 Special Report on Personalization by BRP Consulting
- 79 percent of the customers surveyed said they value personalized service as an important factor for choosing the store they shop from
- 68 percent said they would shop at a store offering personalized rewards on customer loyalty
Let’s understand personalization and targeted advertising and why it is good for consumers and businesses…
What Exactly is Personalized Advertising?
Personalized Advertising is an evolving genre of advertising that creates personalized user experiences, therefore resulting in better Customer Experience (CX), higher Return on Investments (ROI), broader reach and engagement and improved conversions.
Guy Marion, CMO, Autopilot, aptly says, “Today’s consumers are expecting a personalized experience. In fact, we know that the majority of consumers now are turned off by generic, common messaging and marketing that doesn’t take into account their interests and behavior.”
Personalized advertising is more engaging and gives you one-on-one marketing capabilities to create lasting impressions.
Customers Love Personalized Advertising
Today, personalization is a crucial part of a consumer’s life – on both digital and offline channels. Consumers benefit from recommendations that are based on their past purchases and are more confident about buying products that others have purchased.
If you create ads with well-informed data, they will be helpful and engaging. Users will talk about such ads and share them, eventually they could go viral!
Then, why do some customers find such ads invasive? Let’s find out.
Why are Customers Skeptical About Personalization?
The truth is customers don’t hate ads; they hate the intrusion and misuse of their personal (sensitive) information. Customers today understand that to receive personalized content and relevant promotions, retailers need to identify them and use their personal information, but with the increase in identity thefts, hacking, data misuse, and other such cybercrimes, customers are becoming more concerned about protecting their data and privacy.
Here are some of their top concerns, according to RSA Data Security and Privacy Survey:
- Fraudsters could commit a financial fraud using customers’ digital footprint (location, photos, and videos), with identity and password theft being their top concern.
- Consumers fear losing control over their financial data (78%), security information (75%), identity information (70%), medical information (61%).
- 64% of US and 72% of UK respondents feel inclined to blame the company, in case of data leaks (or a hack).
- Customers are now more worried about the constant location and behavior tracking. They are concerned about their personal information being shared with third (or fourth) parties that could violate their privacy.
So, when customers see a personalized ad they are often perturbed about how their data is flowing, which results in annoyance and a decline in purchase intent. Another reason for the skepticism is —customers could feel manipulated, which results in negative responses.
How can you solve this dilemma? Here are some personalized advertising best practices for marketers.
Personalized Advertising Best Practices for Marketers
People appreciate the convenience of personalized advertising, but not at the cost of their privacy. Here is what marketers can do.
- Be transparent about how you collect and use personal information.
- Justify that the use of personal data is crucial for better, informed ad services.
- Be thoughtful about accessing highly sensitive information like bank details, search topics, political beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.
- Ask users to directly share their data with you, instead of buying it from third-party sources.
- Don’t interrupt the user experience. Instead, create ad experiences that add value, have a lasting impression and create positive feelings about the brand.
- Avoid over persuasive, invasive advertisements.
Marketers’ Key Takeaways
When targeting is performed in acceptable ways, your customers will not only enjoy your advertisements, but will also trust you with their information and preferences. This will boost engagement, conversions and customer loyalty. There is a fine line between delightful and invasive ads. The key is to be transparent and straightforward about what data you use for targeting and how you use it to make their experiences and lives better.