Making the digital experience personal

I’ve written before about how Kingsdale Media keeps the personal touch in our services by keeping the daily optimization of digital campaigns in house. There’s another form of personalization of digital marketing and advertising that comes up often in my conversations with clients. Sometimes, it seems so personal that it verges on downright creepy, but my guess is that you would miss it if things went back to the way they used to be.

I’m talking about the focused targeting of ads on the internet and in mobile apps.

We have the ability now to target advertising to nearly every specific audience you can dream up. Is your customer a woman in her twenties who loves gourmet food? We can serve your ad to her. Is it a retired man in his golden years who enjoys world travel? We can serve your ad to him. What about young families who need to furnish their first home? Easy!

Any time a person uses a website, downloads an app, has GPS location turned on in his or her phone or tablet, signs up for an email account, etc., that person leaves a breadcrumb trail and often agrees — whether implicitly or explicitly — to be tagged or cookied and tracked. Now, while we don’t (and cannot and will not) have access to identifying information that would jeopardize his or her personal security, we do have a way to learn their interests, behavior, demographics, and geographical location.

All of that data is made available to savvy digital media buyers like me who use it to help our clients focus their advertising on their most likely customers. That fact could be where the creep factor arises, but there is a different way to view it.

Have you noticed when you’re online how now, more often than not, the ads you see are things you might actually be interested in purchasing and services you might actually use? For example, personally, I rarely see an ad for men’s toiletry products when I’m using my desktop or smartphone. However, I do see ads for women’s moisturizers and home furnishings – two things that I am in the market for.

Now think about television and radio ads. There is a little targeting involved there, but it’s not as focused as digital advertising. For example, I listen to Dave Ramsey when I’m in the car in the evening, and some of the ads I hear during his program are geared toward people who are doing their best to improve their financial situation, but often the ads I hear are geared toward middle-aged men, who happen to be the primary audience for the local radio station on which Ramsey’s show is aired here. Not only are those ads not relevant to me, but some of them truly annoy me. I’m not in the advertiser’s target audience and they are not going to see a return on investment from me. I mean… Seriously. I am not even remotely interested in going to the “Man-cave Show” down at the fairgrounds next month.

By focusing advertising digitally using the data that is available, I am able to not only target the best audience for a client, but I am able to deliver relevant messages to internet and app users — giving them a more personalized and likely more enjoyable online experience.