Behavioural targeting

A guide to personalised advertising online

Hello Brian. There are many ways an online ad can be personalised and targeted.

In this introduction to personalised ads online, I thought I’d order the information by marketing channel, rather than by types of targeting.

Ads can be targeted to behaviour, demographic, time and audience. Most people think of personalisation as a little more tailored than, say, device type, and more about personal information that a company has about you, be it name and age, or browsing and purchase behaviour.

Personalisation, despite implying one-to-one interaction, is often a more sophisticated automated and rules-based take on traditional segmentation of a database and delivery of a marketing message.

It can be based on information you have given to a company or on information inferred or collected with tags, or matched up with third-party data.

With marketing technology becoming more sophisticated and at the same time arguably easier to use, personalisation is an area set for prominence in marketing over the next couple of years.

CRM software allows companies to tailor web experiences to different segments of users and this redefines the purpose of a previously static web page or marketing message.

In this post though, I’m concentrating on advertising online and how it is personalised. Away we go!

Will you survive the logged-in user revolution?

If you don’t think identity plays a significant role in user experience, think again.

Case in point: I was recently browsing my favorite footwear site on my smartphone for the perfect pair of shoes, but when I returned to purchase my pair of choice via desktop, I had to spend upwards of 10 minutes trying to find it again.

How much better would my experience have been if I had instead been greeted with a personalized product showcase featuring my ‘most recently browsed’ items?  

Looking at the pros and cons of tag tracking

Firstly, thanks for all the great comments and emails I received following the first instalment of this article.

A lot of people commented on the many overlaps between the themes and particularly around the tagging requirements.

Tagging is a great area to explore, so I thought I would take this and a few of the other themes that were proffered before looking at areas to postpone focus, in the next instalment.

If you would like to see these prioritised further or which companies are differentiating themselves in this space, please let me know or add in the comments field below.

Privacy practices: the should and must of online transparency

Data collection is exploding across the internet, and for good reason. Whether you’re a Google, Facebook or small online advertising network, the more data you have the better.

You can slice it, dice it, repackage it, and – using predictive analysis – build accurate profiles to serve users with precise interest based adverts.

It drives down costs and the digital advertising industry, with their insatiable thirst for data, is booming. In just the first half of 2013, US revenue from online advertising in the US alone totalled approximately $20bn.

WiFi’s role in digital innovation and marketing in 2014

In 2014 WiFi will change dramatically, and much of that evolution will be sparked by Hotspot 2.0, which is already gaining wider adoption. 

Looking at the data, global mobile data traffic grew by 70% in 2012 and the average smartphone usage rose by 81%.

In 2013, mobile data traffic was nearly twelve times the size of the entire global internet in 2000. This will continue to grow in 2014, fostering the development of WiFi in the process. 

Improved customer experience seen as main benefit of real-time marketing

Real-time marketing is one of the most important digital and ecommerce trends in 2014, with many businesses seeking to make their marketing teams more agile in the way that they deal with consumers.

But what are perceived to be the main business benefits of real-time marketing?

A new report from Econsultancy and Monetate asked both client-side and agency respondents to answer this very question, with a better customer experience proving to be the most popular answer (84% company vs. 82% agency).

Around three-quarters of respondents cited improved conversion rates as a key benefit (72% vs. 74%) making it the second most-popular answer.

Five ways to encourage your visitors to view high performing content

One of the best ways to make your visitors convert is by serving them the coolest stuff!

Don’t push them into an overly complicated buying process if you’ve figured out that people who see your style guide are converting at 10x the rate of those who don’t!

Once you’ve controlled for other influences, push your visitors towards your content and watch your revenue fly.

So, how are you going to get them there then?

Why it’s not enough to just have live chat

At the beginning of February, I read a great piece in Econsultancy called “Why do online retailers need live chat?” Live chat, combining the ease of e-mails with the immediacy of the phone, is an excellent way of communicating with customers, explained the article.

This is undoubtable. According to BoldChat, 31% of customers in the UK and US say they would be more likely to purchase after a live chat.

Also, a customer service benchmark conducted at eDigital, rated live chat as the best customer service channel at 73% (e-mail was rated at 61% while phone was at the bottom with 44%).

However, I think that just having a constant link to a live chat tool is actually not enough. You need to take it one step further. Optimization, in this, is key.

Just how fast is real-time marketing?

Real-time marketing is currently one of the most prominent trends in digital, however many businesses are still only just starting to experiment with this tactic.

Our understanding of what constitutes real-time marketing is also unclear, as many people simply associate it with quick response times on Twitter.

Marketing is never a completely spontaneous activity. By its very nature, communication with target audiences requires a level of knowledge (stemming from data and insight) about what the audience wants and how the product or service offered meets their needs. 

This processing of knowledge to decide on how to engage with audiences cannot happen without planning. 

A key question therefore is how fast is ‘real time’?

How Cadbury took Google+ by storm

Cadbury UK certainly made a splash when it showed up as one of the early adopters of Google Plus.

Despite its near immediate success on the platform (the brand gained 1.2m followers in a matter of months) many others have been slow to get on board with the not-so-new social network.

I wanted to share with you how Cadbury has used the platform to take its content marketing strategy to the next level.