Personalized content is now everywhere. Not surprising, because more and more customers consciously or unconsciously want brand content that is personally tailored to them. In a McKinsey study, 46 percent of the German consumers interviewed even stated that they actively request personalized messages from brands.
That is because many consumers today attach importance to being recognized as an individual. It is clear that personalized marketing is currently particularly popular not only with customers, but also with marketers. The personalization of advertising messages has thus become a marketing trend and an important factor for addressing customers.
But what personalization means, what kinds of formats it can take and what technologies it requires are often still unclear.
Different types of personalization
Personalization means designing marketing content and delivering it to consumers in such a way that not only a single experience is generated for the masses, but an individual approach to people is achieved. Through personalization, marketers leave generic content in the background and instead focus on the wishes of the individual.
How differentiated personalization is depends on the company and the campaign. For example, individuals can be addressed personally through targeted content. Equally, however, groups of people who share certain common characteristics can be extracted from the target group and reached through personalized messages.
Personalization = Personalized Videos?
Especially when it comes to personalized content for individuals, many people initially think of greeting videos in which the name of the recipient can be variably exchanged. In personalized videos, however, a lot more elements can be customized than just names and lettering. At the same time, personalization can be applied not only in videos but in a variety of other content types – and these are not limited to email attachments.
Different touch points for personalized content are, for example, web and mobile, apps, emails or digital signage in shops. Brands that want to use this marketing method should therefore consider in advance where they can reach the most people in their target group and with which content they are most likely to succeed.
In addition to videos, there are also various options for this, such as dynamic banners or ads in social media. Additional A/B testing of the content shows which preferences your own target group has and can help optimize the personalization measures.
Artificial intelligence provides an individual approach
Once the content has been created, how can it be delivered to the relevant people or groups of people in a targeted manner? Modern AI technologies enable group-based variants as well as a personalized approach. In order to be able to use these, however, companies need user data, which can be collected via various tracking methods. Data that can be used for personalization is, for example, information about age, gender or previous purchases.
Systems with AI help to sort and analyze this semantic data so that it can be used for personalized marketing. On the basis of the insights gained, user profiles are created, through which target groups can be better classified and content can be played out in a more targeted manner. The most personalized AI is that which is oriented towards the individual visitor.
For personalization through AI to succeed, companies need user data in advance. The most common source of data for this has been third-party cookies. But due to data protection regulations, these will soon no longer be supported by browsers. However, there are now many other possibilities, such as CRM data, location, end device or website APIs.
Easy personalization without modern technologies
Besides artificial intelligence, there are other possibilities for personalized advertising messages. The use of placeholders, so-called field merges, is one of the simplest personalization options. This involves personalizing (company) names in mailings or also addresses on landing pages. This is done via automated feeding from a database.
Another possibility is the use of dynamic content. Unlike field mergers, which involve the individualization of individual words, this involves personalizing entire blocks of text, images, links or even buttons within mailings, landing pages or websites.
Subtle and tactical instead of intrusive and frequent
Personalization can be a powerful marketing method if used correctly. However, there is a fine line between tactically and subtly played out content and advertising that is too frequent or intrusive. Therefore, companies that want to use personalized content for their marketing purposes should rely on strong partners who can advise them comprehensively on their strategy.