Ever see an ad on Facebook for gym shoes after shopping on Nike.com? It's not a coincidence. In today's highly competitive advertising landscape, marketers have learned that personalized online ads — those that contain content relevant to a specific person's wants, needs and browsing habits — are incredibly effective.
Consumers favor this type of marketing over others for many reasons. According to a survey by Adlucent, a digital advertising and analytics agency, consumers said personalized ads reduce irrelevant content (46 percent), help consumers discover new products (25 percent), and make online searching/shopping faster and easier (19 percent).
Michael Griffin, CEO and founder of Adlucent, said personalized marketing "is likely to be one of the biggest trends in retail history." In fact, according to Forrester's Top 10 Critical Success Factors in 2016, personalization is now "the new bar" for digital marketing.
If you advertise your business online and want to provide better ads for your customers, here's exactly what they want, according to Adlucent's survey. [See Related Story: Better Data and Personalization Are the Future of Email Marketing]
Ads targeted to consumers' interests
Advertisers should focus on the interests of their consumers in order to sell a product or idea. For instance, if you sell books, serving your ad on the browser of an avid reader who often searches for new titles will likely see greater results than if it were on a fitness buff's browser.
"With access to a seemingly endless amount of consumer information, shopping can become a truly personalized experience," Griffin said.
Ads that show content based on previous purchases or shopping behavior
By combining data sources from across the business — customer relationship management data, transactional data, third-party information on behaviors and characteristics, etc. — brands can develop a better understanding of consumers' shopping patterns and interests, Griffin said.
"Once brands create those comprehensive customer profiles, it allows them to better find and deliver relevant content to additional audiences who look similar," he told Business News Daily.
Ads delivered when consumers are looking to buy
Personalized ads can find consumers at exactly the right moments, such as when they are in need of a specific product and are ready to make a purchase. The more personalized the ad is, the more engaged its viewers become. In fact, Adlucent found that consumers are nearly twice as likely to click on an ad for an unknown brand if it is relevant to their desires and needs.
"It all starts with understanding the needs and interests of each individual, and relies on a combination of people, technology and data," Griffin said.
Looking for more ways to boost your marketing efforts? Check out this Business News Daily guide.