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Hyper-personalisation is the solution to stagnating digital ad effectiveness

Digital budgets are growing massively, but an inability to personalise creative executions effectively is undermining the industry, says Cablato’s Adrian Pearmund.

In an interview with AdExchanger at Cannes Lions this week, he talked about how data can be used to develop the creative brief to reflect individual consumer intent and open pathways for personalised creative: “When the creative brief is for one 30-second spot, that’s what you get… When it’s [based on] six segments and the nuances that create relevance, it’s a different starting point.”

How right he is – and while it’s great to see someone like Swinand totally getting how personalisation works and what it means, it’s remarkable how often even the top people at brands and agencies are failing to grasp the real challenges and oppor-tunities that personalisation offers.

Brands are investing more and more money on digital marketing and data man-agement technologies – yet advertising effectiveness has stagnated, according to Google-Doubleclick.

Average click-through rates have remained consistently low at around 0.15% over the past five years or more – as brands and agencies still struggle to collate, model and use data effectively to drive advertising relevancy through personalisation.

Even though brands and agencies are paying lip service to the idea that giving consumers a more personal and engaging advertising experience is the solution to marketing products and services more effectively, they are actually failing to deliver on this.

Personalisation is not about sending out generic ads to individual consumers – in fact, this approach defeats the object.

The creative content of an ad plays a pivotal role in its effectiveness, contributing up to as much as 70% of campaign performance, according to Google. This means that to engage on a far deeper level, each consumer must receive a personalised creative execution to match their profile. What’s more, this hyper-personalisation needs to be delivered at scale.

True personalised advertising means giving people the right content at the right time through the right device. The problem, though, is effectively determining what ‘right’ means and then delivering it.

This process should start with harnessing all the information at a brand’s disposal – behavioural, third party, first party and CRM data – to not only build detailed audi-ence profiles in terms of age, gender, location, interests and preferences, but also to identify key behaviours and appropriate channels.

The game needs to be changed from the current audience segmenting approach and moved to the one-to-one or ‘hyper-personalised’ level.

Imagine a single campaign serving 14 billion creative combinations, specifically tai-lored to their chosen recipient, each one quick and easy to create and delivered on the right channel at the right time.

Until recently, it has been very complex and expensive to combine multiple sources of data to drive digital ad personalisation and performance in this way. However, breakthrough technology now exists to achieve this and use the intelligence to tailor advertising creative to individual consumers, then deliver it in real time at scale to the appropriate channel.

What’s more, the process is far from complex. In fact, a handful of brands have al-ready been reaping the benefits, finding that it not only significantly improves re-sponse and conversion rates, but also transforms the way marketers develop ad creative and engage with consumers. And it won’t be long before a lot more un-cover the secret to mass precision digital marketing and a new era for the industry.

It’s time to change the game; to turn benign digital advertising into intelligent cross-channel hyper-personalised communication so that brands can use it as a highly ef-fective sales machine.

After all, isn’t this what advertising’s all about?

Adrian Pearmund is Founder and CEO at Cablato

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