Vicious circle (noun) – a chain of events in which the response to one difficulty creates a new problem that aggravates the original difficulty.
Definition by Marriam-Webster
On one side there is an ad designer who keeps on listening to the clock ticking for the fourth consecutive hour, staring at his monitor filled with a whole collection of digital ads in all types and sizes – never fully updated and ready to use across a variety of channels utilized by the brand he works for. As his creative mind is trying to escape this monotonous reality, he wonders how to get closer to a feeling of satisfaction with the tasks he performs. On the other side an annoyed user blocks another irrelevant ad that has just popped up in the browser while he was about to complete an entirely different purchase online. He is asking the computer when the ad that is being displayed will truly help him accomplish any consumer goal that he has in this particular moment and he does not find an answer.
Understanding the notion of advertising personalization
As consumers’ needs are constantly evolving and they require brands to understand them better than ever before, one-size fits all advertising strategy has undoubtedly become passé. Users expect their problems to be solved instantly using the best solution possible and without any irrelevant distractors. This behavior is partly caused by the technology advancement itself, because people easily get used to what is convenient and fast. They are interested in interacting with brands that have experienced marketers stand behind their effective campaigns – making them not only well designed, but also well personalized.
Advertising personalization makes use of certain data points to strengthen the relevancy of messages and content that a user is exposed to which in turn significantly improves user experience and decreases their annoyance described above. Numerous user’s insights are utilized to create marketing experiences that an individual accepts and hopefully (in the marketer’s mind) is even willing to come into contact with. It turns out that the final goal behind advertising efforts, conversion, is more likely to happen when a piece of content is personalized which makes this approach an essential element rather than a new trend that is optional to apply in our marketing strategy.
It is enough to board the first bus that arrives at our bus stop to encounter the situation presented above – a group of people fully engaged with their smartphones, making up for a perfect target for marketers’ personalization efforts. It is no news that each of them is possibly exposed to a unique advertising message (or they are all exposed to a message that differs from the one shown to a similar group in another bus 500 kilometers away).
How to fight ad numbness?
Enduring connections between brands and their customers are no longer easy to achieve. Because of an indescribable amount of advertising messages that people encounter in the virtual world, consumers have formed an inner ad numbness that is hard for marketers to overshadow. They keep on asking themselves how to convince users to spend even as little as 10 seconds of their time on consuming the advertising content that is shown to them, especially when according to Adobe 1/3 of them claim to find display ads entirely intolerable. The strait crack that consumers unconsciously (and sometimes unwillingly) leave for marketers to use is increasingly hard to sneak through. A smart use of information either as simple as location or basic needs, or more complex such as an uncommon passion or characteristic behavior process to personalize an ad can enable it to strike home. But this does not happen without a proper dose of creativity in play.
More time for being creative? Yes, please
Imagine the aforementioned designer not even hearing the clock, immersed in a creative work that is quite incomparable with the repetitive act of adjusting ad sizes and manually personalizing texts they include. New technologies and data collection possibilities enable marketers to come up with precisely targeted messaging that enhances consumers’ interactions with a brand – all automated. At the same time, these novelties let ad makers to focus on what requires a human factor – the truly creative work. This can be coming up with innovative advertising ideas that the brand can use to make its way to the minds of consumers – and that will help the brand stay there for a longer time, thinking of more effective ways to personalize content or designing stunning graphics that will become the brand’s next leitmotif.
As dipp mentioned in a recent post, although by 2022 as much as 80% of the advertising processes will be automated, the other 20% will remain absolutely crucial for the creative development of advertising industry. Highly inventive work brings groundbreaking results and builds brands’ strength but is a time-consuming effort. The possibility for creative professionals to devote more time to it while letting technology take care of processes that can be automated is the future that is already happening – the future that marketers need to be ready for and learn how to make a good use of.
There are two very important trends taking over advertising – personalization and automation. The former has been around in offshoot forms for many years – both in the minds of marketers (trying to make e.g. TV ads somehow relevant to the program that they complemented) and probably also consumers who kept on thinking why they were being exposed to advertising content that they were not interested in and that did not solve any of their problems that they were seeking to clarify. However, personalization has recently become a distinct topic in the advertising world that is being formulated as an essential strategy for convincing a modern customer to make a purchase and get attached to a brand. The latter trend, automation, is made possible by the increasingly fast developing technology and is interweaved with the former one. These two present-day characteristics of advertising work together to change the vicious circle described in the first paragraph – make creatives account for the so-called human factor in advertising (and feel content with the work they do at the same stroke) and satisfy a user who has a possible product or service that can help him achieve a certain goal in mind but still does not know how to approach the purchase decision. In short - the feeling of annoyance gets a chance to disappear and the need of creation sees a possibility to be fulfilled. This is the present and future of advertising – or at least a part of it, as with this pace of development advertising will see much more – much sooner than we expect.