Individuality as unique selling point: Hyper-personalization of digital marketing content
Although certainly not every company has found a proper way of dealing with the flood of available data, we are slowly reaching the point at which big data is usable. It can be used, for example, to offer customers truly personal – and therefore relevant – digital content. The latest trend in digital marketing is called hyper-personalization. Where could it potentially lead?
For decades, marketing departments have been working on ways to address their customers in the most precise and appropriate ways possible, whether in print or digital form. But in contrast to a brochure, digital content can be designed dynamically and in variable ways. And in the case of hyper-personalization, “dynamically” means far more than generating a website via static HTML coding. It means that the website looks different for every visitor. It looks different at both the very first glance, because it has different elements for presenting content, and at the second glance, because the content itself is being changed. Generally speaking, a variable selection of content elements is already common practice. If you’re at the home page of a company, for instance, and you follow a link to a game that offers some kind of prize, that is recorded in a cookie. During the next visit, some other content is placed in that same spot.
Hyper-personalization goes much further and is based, once again, on data. With the help of this data, companies are getting to know their customers better all the time. They know what their interests are, what products they use, what their purchase histories look like, and when they prefer to be online. With this knowledge, they can precisely tailor the content of their website to a particular user. They can do so, for instance, by creating videos in which some parts can be personalized, so that viewers don’t see just any old car traveling down the road but precisely the model they drive – in the right color. Rendered live! Or the user could see his name written on the coffee cup that the protagonist drinks from, if it’s a male user. Naturally, female customers get a video in which a woman plays the main role. And as long as we’re on the topic of video: smart TV could run personalized ads, such as a spot for the film version of a book that the viewer recently bought online.
For another example, suppose that the movement data from a smartphone indicates that the user looked at a poster advertising a new car model for a fairly long time while shopping. When the user visits the website of the manufacturer later on, the focus could be put on precisely that model.
Technical and legal challenges
Admittedly, this personalized new world is still a long way off, in part because of important issues like privacy protection. But there are technical challenges too. First, every user has to be identified across all touchpoints. A definite identification is currently only possible with a log-in. As an alternative, large advertising networks and data-management platforms can already identify users with a relatively high degree of certainty using deterministic and probabilistic monitoring methods. When mobile advertising became widespread, the days in which cookies were the only identification markers used were long gone.
In addition, the website must meet a few requirements too. For example, the content management system must be able to operate with great flexibility. Furthermore, the content must include many elements that can be personalized. In other words, certain elements must be interchangeable without great effort. That, in turn, means that numerous components must be produced in advance. If a video is supposed to be able to show ten different car models traveling down the road, all of these models have to be rendered. All of this effort will ultimately be rewarded with a truly personalized appeal where the target group consists of just one individual.
Author: Editorial team Future. Customer.
Image: vege – Fotolia/Adobe Stock