Targeting Ads Without Creeping Out Your Customers

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Many experts believe in the of personalization in marketing. This means that messages will be tailored to individual customers instead of being general.

This is due to the fact that it allows brands to give consumers what they want exactly, as well as the potential for creating customers that are loyal. Personalization has evolved to do more than just addressing customers by their name. Web and mobile experiences should be different for each customer.

This means that if you have a lot of power, you also have a lot of responsibility. For example, if you use information about your customers that they are not aware of, it is likely that your efforts will fail and you will make them angry.

By taking a closer look at how brands and marketers can learn about their customers, they can offer better, more personalized marketing experiences without making their customers feel like their privacy has been violated.

Jared Brickman believes that modern marketing personalization will be defined by targeted experiences that are much more specific than simply inserting a consumer’s name or address. The consumer will have a better experience because the company’s marketing budget will be more effective.

Although personalization can be beneficial, it will only be effective when it is applicable and practical, said Luke Rees, head of digital at AccuraCast, a digital marketing company.

He added that people do not object to being interrupted if they find the advertisement message interesting. By 2016, most marketing leaders believed that customer experience would be the most important factor in competition, meaning that companies need to be available when customers need them and use data to learn what each customer wants.

Douglas Karr stated that he agrees with the previous speaker.

For marketing departments, personalization is a strategy that can help make their ads and campaigns more relevant and engaging to consumers, which can ultimately help build trust and drive sales, he said. ” This feedback loop from customers provides important information about their location, demographics, and motivation for doing business with the company. The value of that information to marketers is enormous – it can help them fine-tune their products and services and communicate more effectively with their customers.

More and more, Jessica Moreno noted, consumers are exposed to different ads daily and most messages are diluted or overlooked. However, data-driven marketing can help brands tailor messages to any demographic for maximum engagement and efficiency.

The internet has dramatically expanded the modern marketer’s tool kit, in large part because of one simple but transformative development: digital data. Because users regularly share personal data online and web cookies track every click, marketers have gained unprecedented insight into consumers and can serve up solutions tailored to their individual needs.

The results have been impressive. Studies have found that targeting ads to specific consumers online leads to more positive responses to those ads, and that when marketers have less access to data about potential customers, advertising effectiveness goes down. There is evidence to suggest that using online “surveillance” to sell products can lead to a consumer backlash.

The research that has been conducted to support ad personalization has been done with consumers who were not aware that the ads they were seeing were based on the data that they had provided. Today such naïveté is increasingly rare. The public’s anger over companies losing control of their data, and the use of underhanded tactics to spread false information and cause political division, has understandably made consumers more cautious.

People’s personal experiences with ads that are specific to them or follow them across websites have shown that marketers usually know who is seeing their digital messages. Now some regulators in different countries are beginning to state that companies must show how they collect and use consumers’ personal information.

If awareness makes customers feel that the products they see are personally relevant, this could increase ad performance. backers of cookies and other watchfulness instruments say that increasingly important publicizing causes a more significant, pleasurable web experience. Awareness of a product could lead to less performance if it causes customers to be concerned about their privacy or evokes negative reactions.

Some companies have figured out how to better meet customer expectations of personalization than others have. Amazon features shopping ads throughout its site, making product recommendations based explicitly on individual users’ search data. This does not seem to bother consumers at all.

Although Target used the same method as other companies, they received a negative response. The retailer sent coupons for maternity-related products to women by their purchasing behaviors, the retailer inferred that these women were pregnant. A teenager who was expecting a baby was included in the group. Her father was very angry about it at first, but then he felt foolish when he realized that she was actually pregnant.

For the consumer who prefers relevant ads, it’s important that marketers get the balance right. Digital marketers need to understand how consumers feel about the use of their data to personalize ads. They should use this data in a way that meets consumers’ expectations. New research shows that marketers can use the same triggers for privacy concerns offline to help guide their actions in the digital sphere.

Guidelines for Digital Marketers

There is a thin line between ad personalization being creepy or delightful. Some people might think it is better to not let people know that their personal information is being used to target them, especially for ads about sensitive products. Target inserted coupons for random items in its mailings to expecting mothers in order to make the baby-products ads look less conspicuous. Some companies might try to trick consumers by giving them fake chances to feel like they’re in control. This makes the consumers feel false empowerment.

We think that using such tactics is not a good idea because it may only work for a little while. If someone is caught lying, it will damage the trust between them and the person they lied to. Our experiments show that trust enhances the positive effects of using personal information in ways consumers deem acceptable.

Other research suggests that trust has benefits that extend beyond the individual. Employees who trust their managers are also more likely to trust other people they work with. For example, Bhavya Mohan and Ryan Buell are two people who have done research on pricing—an area where companies can make more money by being dishonest about the cost of their products. Research has shown that when companies are truthful about how much it costs to make their products, their customers trust them more and sales increase.

It is doubtful that companies will be able to keep hiding their data-collection practices for much longer. Consumers are getting more informed and regulators are putting pressure on companies to be transparent. If you deceive a friend, you may gain a temporary advantage but if they find out, the damage done will be deep and long lasting. Relationships are stronger if they are honest.

If you’re a digital marketer looking to target ads more effectively, here are a few suggestions:

1. Stay away from sensitive information.

People with disabilities have a right to be respected and treated fairly. This includes the right to be free from discrimination, violence, and abuse. An example of a company that does not allow advertisers to target based on personal attributes would be Google. Google recently updated its policies, preventing advertisers from basing their targeting on personal attributes such as race, sexual orientation, and medical conditions. This change creates difficulties for companies that offer sensitive products – who may want to target different areas altogether. Firms should not use personal data to find their customers. Instead, they should advertise on websites that their customers are likely to visit.

2. Commit to at least a minimum amount of transparency.

There is a wide range of options between concealment and full disclosure, with many acceptable points between the two. We suggest that marketers should be willing to provide information about their data-use practices to anyone who asks for it. Such disclosures should be clear and easily accessible. The AdChoices icon is designed to allow consumers to learn more about why they are seeing a particular ad, or to opt out of targeted advertising if they so choose. The icon is not intended to be disruptive or intrusive for consumers who are not as concerned with privacy issues. Just having your website can help build trust with customers. However, if an initiative to be more transparent falls short by, for example, not providing clear answers for why an ad is being shown, then it will become less valuable to the consumer. A commitment to disclosure will help ensure that employees understand that data practices must always be customer-centric and ethical. As the saying goes, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

3. Use data judiciously.

Collecting data allows for many innovative and insightful insights into customers, but it is important to be cautious. People don’t like it when companies use their personal information to create recommendations or ads that seem intrusive or out of place. This means that if advertisers are happy with the recommendations they receive, they will be given more freedom. Stitch Fix, for example, is a subscription-service clothing retailer that knows a lot about its customers, including information people typically prefer to keep private, such as their weight and bra size. This information is very useful to the company because it helps them to put together a collection of clothing that would be suitable for the customer and then have it delivered to their house. Stitch Fix’s use of personal information is neither inappropriate nor unhelpful, so it doesn’t feel invasive.

Even if data collection is not up to par, consumers may be willing to forgive if they are getting something great in return. The dating app Tinder uses information from Facebook to tell users how many friends they have in common with a given prospect, which would usually result in a backlash. In this case, users evidently value the sharing, so they don’t seem to mind the practice.

4. Justify your data collection.

We also suggest that marketers explain to users why they are collecting personal information, and how this will generate more appropriate and useful ads. When a piece of information is necessary, but not obvious to consumers, this is especially true. LinkedIn explains that it use data about users to make its services more useful and relevant to them and others. This mission statement can help prevent abuse by employees.

5. Try traditional data collection first.

Marketers can still gather information from customers without using digital surveillance. While Stitch Fix uses data about consumer preferences gleaned from their online behavior, it also relies heavily on surveys in which consumers can freely share their tastes and physical attributes.

Other companies that use customer recommendations, such as Amazon and Netflix, also allow customers to directly state their preferences. If companies supplement the less transparent ways they use consumers’ information with more open ones, it will decrease the consumers’ feeling of invasiveness. This can not only provide a better picture of the customer, but can also lead to better recommendations.

Although it may be costly to gather data directly from consumers, it is sometimes the only way to get accurate information. response rates to consumer surveys are notoriously low, so this may not be the best method. This means that if marketers have to get their information from a third party, they can give consumers a say in how that information is used. Both Google and Facebook give users a lot of control over how they can be targeted by advertisers.


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