Patrick Furse, Digital Director of themission Agency, Bray Leino, talks about personalising content and experiences at scale so your business can stand out and be engaging.
themission is a technology-embraced marketing communications and advertising Group employing 1,100 people in the UK, Asia and US. The Group comprises two divisions: Integrated Agencies and Sector Specialist Agencies, which work together to provide Clients with the expertise and resource to make them more successful in today’s challenging environment.
Make It Personal
Patrick, Digital Director of themission Agency Bray Leino, is an expert in planning and executing effective, creative and innovative digital experiences - from websites and apps to marketing campaigns, social media and interactive content. Patrick has spent twenty years as a leader in digital and integrated agencies – delivering digital excellence at senior level for brands like British Airways, Castrol, Visa, BP, News International, Sky, Intel, Orange, Vodafone, BT, Post Office & the BBC.
Patrick discusses how your business can stand out and be engaging....
The ability to have one-to-one communications at scale AND at low-cost has long been a holy grail for marketeers. Whilst digital has been driving more and more sophisticated targeting of ads and content for quite a while – the ‘what’ we have been pushing out there has been fairly ‘one size fits all’.
However, we are starting to see more focus on how to personalise the content and experiences that finer and finer targeting is enabling us to segment against.
Technologies, many of them AI driven, like natural language processing, voice synthesis, dynamic creative and better data integration are enabling this to be done at scale, cheaply and instantaneously.
What’s available for marketeers?
There are a whole host of platforms out there that are enabling dynamic personalisation of content at scale – from online video to radio there are tools that can help. For dynamic, personalised audio ads, A Million Ads has tech that allows multiple variations of a radio ad to be broadcast depending on variables like the weather, location, name and gender.
In this way, hundreds of thousands of personalised versions of a radio ad can be broadcast based on one ‘master’ ad. Often using sophisticated and convincing voice synthesis to deliver each unique version.
Idomoo and Spirable are amongst a fair few platforms that play a similar role for video content – combining creative tools, data, publishing and management tools to deliver PaaS or Personalization as a Service.
Not surprisingly, the big social and ad platforms such as Facebook and Google are also in the dynamic content game, Google offer Director MIX as a way to create, publish and manage dynamic video in high multiples of variations. Whilst Facebook’s Dynamic Creative is a tool for creating and serving multiple ad variations across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
How does it work in action?
Here are a few examples of how tech, design tools, data and targeting are coming together to deliver dynamic, personalised content.
Fiat – Fiat 500 X Instagram, Auto Trader campaign
Fiat wanted to raise awareness of its 500X, an efficient, compact SUV, positioned as a car for everyone, that can "go anywhere". Fiat needed a way to show this versatility and position the car for consideration with targeted, active searchers in the competitive compact SUV category.
Fiat partnered with Auto Trader UK, Facebook Creative and Idomoo, to deliver personalized video content based on a viewer’s Facebook and Instagram interests. A suite of different video content was created – which were matched to user interests and targeted to those actively searching for a new car across Facebook and Instagram Stories.
For example, if a user likes camping, dog-walking and outdoor activities, they were served an ad which has a family driving to a camping trip.
As a result, the Fiat 500X became the third most searched-for car on Auto Trader.
View campaign overview here.
PlayStation4 – MyPS4Life
PlayStation Europe wanted to reinvigorate engagement with the brand and ultimately to drive sign-ups. Using the Spirable dynamic video platform and PlayStation gaming data the MyPS4Life campaign allowed gamers to receive personalised videos celebrating their PS4 gaming lifetime.
Each personal video replayed an individual gamer’s greatest gaming moments alongside stats about their gaming habits such as hours played, top games, and rarest trophies. Over 5 million unique videos were created leading to a 40% increase in sign-ups Y-O-Y.
An example MyPS4Life personalised video.
Virgin Atlantic – Amazing January Sale Radio ad
To create cut-through on digital radio and music streaming platforms to promote Virgin Atlantic’s January Sale, A Million Ads used personalisation and dynamic audio to create unique ads for each listener based on the day of the week, the time of day, location and the weather.
This created over 24,000 possible versions of the ad, so that listeners in locations such as Coventry, Southend-on-Sea, Exeter and Hull hear a version that is most relevant to them.
So, imagine you are listening to your favourite audio service on a cloudy Saturday afternoon in Northampton ...
Ferrero – Nutella Unica
Personalisation doesn’t only apply to online content - Nutella's manufacturer Ferrero wanted to create a uniquely personalized experience for consumers in home country, Italy. Nutella has form in this area - running a successful campaign in which consumers could create Nutella labels printed with words or names of their choice.
Building on this - an algorithm was developed which worked from a base of patterns and colours to create seven million different versions of Nutella's packaging. Each Nutella Unica jar was intended to be "like a piece of art", stamped with its own unique code.
The seven million jars were sold through Italian supermarkets and sold out within one month.
Why it’s interesting
Firstly, in an attention economy the ability to stand out AND be engaging is like gold-dust –personalisation delivers on stand-out, as there’s nothing quite like hearing your own name to make you sit up and listen/watch/click. And after all, who doesn’t like stuff that’s centred around themselves?
It’s measurable – dynamic content and creative, delivered over predominantly digital channels, is easy to measure, especially in closed loops like eCommerce or social media.
It’s effective – personalised campaigns, as we can see from the examples above, deliver double and triple-digit uplifts in calls to action, great brand recall and strong ROI figures driven by cost-lowering automation.