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The personal touch is US advertising’s Trump card

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12th Oct 2015
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Over four-fifths of Americans say they are happy to receive advertisements from retailers and ecommerce providers, according to research of US-based consumers by Harris Poll on behalf of Emarsys.

However, the personal touch appears to be key in gaining a captive US audience. Nearly half (47%) of consumers said they want to hear from brands when something they’ve been looking at becomes cheaper, when something they’ve been looking at is close to selling out (26%) or when a holiday is coming up (25%).

The complexities of delivering personalised communications are well-documented. A recent study by Experian highlighted the fact that while around 51% of global marketers state they use basic data such as first names to ‘personalise’ advertising via the web and email, less than half use more sophisticated types of personalisation such as behavioural data, past purchase data and abandoned cart data, while just 22% use preference centre data.

Inaccurate data is almost always the scourge of personalised advertising – with 32% of marketers stating bad data is their top challenge, alongside a lack of technology and internal resources.

And David Mennie, senior marketing director for Acquia recently told MyCustomer.com that, despite the desire among consumers for more personalised communications from brands, it was often the ‘contextualisation’ of the messaging that determined whether a consumer was interested in a personalised ad or not:

“Personalisation is designed to provide a better customer journey by tailoring content and offers to the needs and interests of the customer. By using both the behavioural and situational patterns of the customer as well as their real-time actions, brands are able to deliver highly relevant experiences.

“What contextualisation does is to further enrich this by looking at not just what content customers engage with or what they purchase, but when and why they did so. This means that brands better understand where their customers are in their journey and use this insight to tailor the digital experience across all touchpoints.”

Interestingly, as part of the US consumer study, Harris Poll and Emarsys asked Americans’ perspectives on the marketing and advertising campaigns of the current 2016 US president candidates.

Despite the level of ridicule experienced in the media to date, the research revealed that Donald Trump (37%) is the presidential candidate conducting the best personalised marketing campaign at present, with Bernie Sanders (21%) and Hillary Clinton (20%) lagging behind.    

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