Personalised advertising wins

It’s called ad nauseam – you’ve searched for a product and bought it only to be served up the same ad time and again. They’re irrelevant, intrusive and a waste of money. In an ideal world, advertisements should be fresh, tailored and appeal to the user and work for the brand.

“Over the years, a lot of online advertising has been bad for customer experiences and brand loyalty, leading to the rise of ad blocking,” says Diaz Nesamoney, chief executive of Jivox, a digital advertising and marketing technology company. “Ads need to be bespoke – you need to show me something personal while I’m still in the market for a product and, if I’ve moved on, then something else I find relevant.”

Poor online ad performance on the one hand and exponential growth in the ad market on the other has set the stage for a major disruption. Personalised ads have, therefore, taken the industry by storm. These can now be created in real time and tailored to the individual. The creative components including text, video and graphical elements can all be customised on the fly.

“In less than ten milliseconds we can search through petabytes of data, apply machine-learning algorithms, construct a relevant advertisement and serve it up to you. By tying user actions in real time to the message a user sees, so called dynamic customisation is a real game-changer,” explains Mr Nesamoney.

That’s because personalised digital advertising can boost engagement three times more than the traditional rich media, according to an extensive survey by Jivox that looked at a billion personalised ad impressions from 24 campaigns in six industry sectors and ten markets around the world.

One of the key innovations by Jivox driving this kind of performance is called Neuron. It uses advanced neural networks, deep-learning and large data sets to produce insights and then rapid decisions about what advertisement should be served. Data is aggregated from data providers, location data and information from the brands themselves. In the UK, Marks & Spencer, Land Rover and Bose have used this technology.

“We are past the early adoption phase and this type of machine-learning is being adopted now by mainstream brands. But personalised ads are still a nascent sector, yet growing rapidly, with some corporations now investing heavily and rolling it out globally,” says Mr Nesamoney.

One of the biggest challenges is determining the triggers that will customise each ad. This can be time consuming as businesses decide what messaging strategy actually works, as well as what data set will personalise each ad. The fact is there are endless possibilities to customise advertising.

“Measurement and analysing these things used to be an issue. It had to be done manually. Not any more; it can all be optimised automatically. Machine-learning can now give us insights into precisely what consumers will respond to and what will trigger click-throughs,” says Mr Nesamoney.

Jivox is seeing the creative industries starting to get involved with personalised advertising to enrich the customer journey; what started in the retail sector is now transferring to fast-moving consumer goods and business to business.

“Many clients are looking at it from a performance point of view. Personalised ads boost the performance of a campaign, they bring about cost-savings since they are targeted and they also allow companies to get much better return on investment from their media,” explains Mr Nesamoney.

Jivox is now looking at expanding online advertising into e-mails, social media messaging and chatbots, since all forms of communication can be tailored with the right machine-learning algorithms. The aim is to personalise the whole omnichannel experience. It helps that the younger generation are more willing to share data about themselves than past cohorts.

“There are many opportunities for brands to improve their digital marketing by making it more relevant, including personalising their website landing pages based on machine-learning. There are endless possibilities,” says Mr Nesamoney.

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