When it comes to reaching your audience few things beat personalization. When a salesperson is speaking with a client they make eye contact and use the person’s name. It makes the customer feel more comfortable and it helps build a relationship between them and the salesperson. They like that they are being paid attention to, as if they are more than just a contact on a list.
It works the same way with your digital marketing. If people are going to be forced to look at ads they want to see something that resonates with them. They want to see products they will actually want to purchase or services that are actually relevant to their lives. They even enjoy having emails address them by name, even though deep down they know several thousand other people are getting the same email.
So, what are some effective marketing options for a personalized experience?
Geofencing is location-based targeting that uses GPS-enabled mobile devices to target individuals. With geofencing you can set up a virtual boundary around a location and when a mobile device enters that location ads can be served up on that device.
Basically, you enter your favorite shopping mall and suddenly you have digital ads popping up for a shop within that mall. How did they know you were there? Blame that little back-stabbing snitch in your pocket.
By understanding what locations your audience frequents you are able to get your message in front of them. Feel free to advertise your newest special to your competitors’ customers while they are in your competitors’ locations.
Facebook has a lot of targeting options for their ads. They used to have more, but they’ve had to remove some in order to avoid discrimination on their platform. Also in response to that whole Cambridge Analytica thing.
Facebook is able to target its users because its users are providing a lot of data on themselves, whether they know it or not. Facebook users provide basic information about themselves using the About section on their profiles. Oftentimes they tell Facebook where they live, what hobbies they enjoy, or favorite books — the list goes on and on.
For other information, Facebook is able to make incredibly accurate assumptions about a person based on what they like or engage with. They have enough user data to make some impressive inferences.
For example, let’s say someone just got engaged and wanted to notify all their Facebook friends. Naturally, they hop onto Facebook, switch the relationship status over to ‘Engaged’ and wait for the praise to start flowing.
Immediately they start receiving all the accolades from relatives, old friends and that one guy they met in college they haven’t spoken to in years but he likes all their statuses anyway.
The next thing they notice is a barrage of ads from wedding reception venues, fitness centers and cake shops.
These organizations have selected people who are engaged as a target — probably along with some demographic and geographic targeting as well. Once this person became a member of that audience, it’s open season for these ads.
Retargeting allows you to target past visitors of your website. This works well when paired with other ad tactics like Search ads.
Once someone lands on your site, and thanks to some code, your ads will begin following that person around as they browse the web. You’ve most likely encountered this yourself when doing some online shopping.
You’ve recently come across the most adorable shoes you’ve ever seen but haven’t been able to convince yourself to make the purchase so you move on and look at other websites. Well wouldn’t you know it, those shoes are following you around trying to get you to buy them.
How do they know?! This is the only time you’ll ever catch us saying this, but you can blame cookies for this one.
When someone visits your site, assuming you have the proper code set up, an anonymous cookie will be placed on their browser, allowing your ads to know who they can show up for.
Retargeting is able to target people who have already shown some interest in your product or service. This makes them a valuable audience for you.
Getting Too Personal
All of these targeting options allow you to narrow in on your audience and make their buying process a little more personal. Of course these tactics can easily become too personal if the targeting is narrow enough that it feels like stalking.
Keep in mind who your audience is and make sure the messaging of your ads are not crossing a line. If someone was recently searching for a weight-loss ideas, it’s best not to hit them with overly-harsh messages about how much weight they need to lose — that’s just rude.
Keep in mind the frequency your ads are showing as well. Being bombarded by ads won’t make someone buy, even if they were recently searching for the product.
There’s a fine line between personalization and creepiness. People want to see messages that are relevant to them but not so relevant it feels like you’re watching their every move. Keep your customer in mind when utilizing these marketing tactics.