Why Using Data for Personalized Ad Targeting Is Not Enough
People consume content when it is relevant to them. This is why leading online brands are investing in the collection of behavioral and historical consumer data - to power personalization and segmentation strategies with targeted (or retargeted) advertising and promotions. However, it is rare that consumers find these messages truly relevant and useful.
Because people don't like to be sold, ad content is taken with a grain of salt and justified suspicion. Hence, brands using personalized data exclusively for online ad targeting purposes can be wasting valuable ammunition.
But what if content and advertising merged? Brands could provide relevant content to consumers based on their individual profile while combining contextual promotions. Consumers then engage with this content because it is relevant to them and the promotion serves their needs, rather than wastes their time.
This concept is supported by the fact that, on average, more than 75% of SmartVideo viewers watch the video to the end. Even in cases where the video is lengthy in duration, e.g., exceeding 3 minutes (and let's face it - that's long for online video!), we still see comparable engagement and completion rates. The reason for that is simple – when a viewer finds the content relevant, he is more engaged and intrigued, and especially so, because it is offered via the best available medium, i.e., video. With that mindset, there's a greater receptiveness to promotions.
When promotions come together with personalized, useful and relevant content, they are more effective. For example, the receptiveness to a promotion to sign up for paperless bill is higher, when presented in the context of a personalized video explaining the bill.
This trend - the merging of content and advertising - is exciting, especially in online video. And it's starting to accelerate as online brands increasingly realize its potential. We will soon see more and more consumer-targeted content that is no longer distinct whether an advertisement, pure content or an informative message. The borders blur which makes the consumer more open to consuming that content.
So, think beyond leveraging consumer data for targeted advertising. Think first how to use this data to provide consumers with helpful content that is personalized, then leverage their satisfaction to promote relevant offerings or call-to-actions.