How data-driven prediction is changing the face of remarketing

The rise of digitally-enabled devices and the proliferation of sensors meant marketers have had an unprecedented opportunity to tailor and target ads with greater precision. 

And yet, according to a report from Gartner Inc., 63% of marketers still struggle with personalization, and 23% struggle with selecting the right technology to support these efforts. Based on an earlier survey, these issues may stem from the fact that only 40% of marketers have a clear personalization strategy and roadmap, even though personalization takes up 14% of their marketing budget. 

Before giving up on personalization, let’s get back to what really makes it work; 

Personalization is not simply the availability of new channels for marketers to learn their habits and the use of predictive analytics to send them the best offers. It’s not simply one tactic among many.

Personalization should be a way of collecting data respectfully and using it strategically to nurture a relationship that improves the consumer experience and deepens their trust with brands. 

The outcome marketers should focus on is not simply what they’ll be able to drive in terms of engagement, conversions, or sales. brands need to aim for an experience that might best be described as “delightful relevance.” This is a goal within reach. 

It’s also possible that marketers have struggled with their personalization efforts because they’ve missed an important step. 

There’s an assumption, perhaps, that by integrating consumer data from various sources—such as CRM, brand sites, cookies, and I.D. data — consumers will be happy to get more targeted advertising based on predictive analytics as a matter of course.

In many cases, however, marketers need to be aware that taking a more personalized approach requires careful upfront planning to ensure you’re getting the most out of your data sources. 

1. Start With The Right Segment: Trying to adopt personalization across the board is hard. Segmenting based on your most valuable customers, or those most likely to offer information, means you’re working with data where opt-in happened at the outset. This forms the basis for a far more granular and effective remarketing campaign. This means ensuring your line items and naming conventions are consistent across platforms, and your sources are tagged correctly.  For your SaaS campaigns, you may want to segment your audience by various industries to ensure your message is personalized to the right verticals, and having your audience groupings set up correctly in DV360 will make all the difference.

2. Where Consent Isn’t Explicit, Provide Context: Imagine if we hadn’t needed GDPR or the CCPA to force brands to create banners informing consumers about cookies and asking them to click “I accept.” Now imagine the same thing in a data-driven remarketing campaign, where something as simple as “based on your activity with us” could help explain why consumers see a particularly creative or offer. Providing your audiences with a valuable experience with helpful information such as featuring accurate pricing in your eCommerce ads, helps to ensure a meaningful ad experience.

3. Collaborate, Rather Than Coerce: Along with transparency, the best data-driven marketing will increasingly be predicated on the extent to which brands offer consumers self-service capabilities. This will go beyond simply being able to unsubscribe from e-mail messages, but sophisticated preference centers that let them feel they are an active participant in the relationship with a brand. High-impact or eye-catching creative that provides a personalized experience can make or break performance.  For travel brands, for instance, you can showcase enticing trip ideas with beautiful photography, and call out pricing deals and discounts customized to your audience location.

4. Choose Omnichannel Over Isolation: The model’s brands can develop using machine learning and related technologies to predict consumer needs will be wasted if they’re only used for online ads. Consumers will come to expect tailored experiences across every touchpoint, from digital out of home, location-based ads, e-mail, and even social media like Instagram Stories. 

5. ABA: Always Be Asking

Marketers are accustomed to measuring the results of their work, but the metrics for personalization should include how often they are actively engaging with consumers to gather feedback on the experiences they’re providing. This can go beyond checkboxes on websites and emails but proactive surveys, focus groups, and even in-store or in-person events. Marketers should also continuously assess what data is actively being captured, be it on a website and CRM through to ad interactions, to ensure they’re making the most of every touchpoint and ensuring those measurements are being fed back into their DMP, ad server, and feeding insights into how digital campaigns are being executed.

Remarketing has so much potential beyond following a customer’s every movement. By leveraging a thoughtful approach to customer data and using those valuable inputs back into GMP, marketers will be able to advance their personalization tactics to drive meaningful connections.  Personalization should be the product of an above-board dialogue because delightful relevancy is in both parties’ best interests.