Personalisation Technology: Targeting Rules and Geolocation

In this part of the Per­son­al­i­sa­tion Tech­nol­o­gy Man­i­festo, we’ll build on opti­mi­sa­tion through test­ing, to look at engag­ing our audi­ence through tar­get­ing. All the infor­ma­tion you need to pin­point your most valu­able seg­ments is there, just wait­ing to be processed and inter­pret­ed, and the insight it con­tains can make or break a cam­paign or even a busi­ness mod­el. Observ­ing your vis­i­tors’ behav­iour and char­ac­ter­is­tics while you are test­ing will set you up to proac­tive­ly tar­get them based on these behav­iours down the line.

The busi­ness rules that we can use for tar­get­ing span an immense num­ber of fac­tors – in fact they can be as var­ied and com­plex as our cus­tomers’ behav­iour. But this need not be the case – at their most pow­er­ful they con­nect a user seam­less­ly with the prod­ucts or con­tent that they are inter­est­ed in, with­out the cus­tomer hav­ing to think about it. This is the crux of any good per­son­al­i­sa­tion strat­e­gy – pro­vid­ing rela­vant and engag­ing con­tent to the cus­tomer with­out get­ting in the way of the expe­ri­ence. At its sim­plest, we can cap­ture the cat­e­go­ry of items that a user inter­act­ed with in their vis­it to the site and use that to tai­lor the con­tent on the home­page of the site when they return. This might sound sim­ple, but not enough brands are doing it today and they’re miss­ing out because of it.

A great exam­ple of an organ­i­sa­tion get­ting this right is Roy­al Bank of Scot­land, who treat their site and mobile expe­ri­ence like a branch. In this video, Giles Richard­son, Head of Data & Ana­lyt­ics for the bank, talks about his approach to the cus­tomer jour­ney, an lis­ten­ing to cus­tomer needs – the ben­e­fits to the busi­ness speak for themselves.

Mov­ing beyond this idea of cat­e­go­ry affin­i­ty, busi­ness rules can be used to show appro­pri­ate con­tent based on the cam­paign cre­ative that drove the vis­i­tor to the site – think of this as cre­ative con­sis­ten­cy. They can also be used in more advanced ways to “score” vis­i­tor inter­ac­tions and use a com­bi­na­tion of these scores and the high val­ue areas of the site to pro­mote the appro­pri­ate mes­sage to dri­ve vis­i­tors to the next stage in the cus­tomer jour­ney or life­cy­cle. Imag­ine an auto­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­er that ulti­mate­ly wants to push test dri­ve appoint­ments to its deal­er net­work — engage­ment starts with a prospect look­ing at the tech­ni­cal details of a car, moves to the user con­fig­ur­ing their own car or cre­at­ing a per­son­alised brochure and ends with them fill­ing out a form and arrang­ing a test dri­ve. Busi­ness rules can be used at each stage of this jour­ney to assess the cur­rent sta­tus of the prospect and deliv­er mes­sag­ing and cre­ative to guide them to the next stage – a car con­fig­u­ra­tor ban­ner on the home­page, a list of local deal­ers based on the prospect’s cur­rent loca­tion. And this idea of using loca­tion for tar­get­ing brings us to anoth­er impor­tant aspect of a tar­get­ing strat­e­gy, geo-tar­get­ing. When we put geo-tar­get­ing in the mix, we con­sid­er the phys­i­cal dimen­sions of our busi­ness­es and mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. What’s the pur­pose of show­ing a cus­tomer in New­cas­tle items in a sale in Lon­don? Mis­takes like this cost us twice: first in their guar­an­teed inef­fec­tive­ness, sec­ond in the missed oppor­tu­ni­ty to cap­i­talise on a poten­tial touchpoint.

So the ben­e­fits of tar­get­ing to the busi­ness and our cus­tomers are great but with so many vari­ables to test and employ, so many dif­fer­ent ways to con­nect with cer­tain seg­ments and pop­u­la­tions, how do we ensure that our tech­ni­cal and logis­ti­cal oper­a­tions keep up with our mar­ket­ing ideas? A few rules fol­low, both for think­ing about tar­get­ing and in terms of how your tar­get­ing tech­nol­o­gy should sup­port you:

Build on learn­ing and reuse your audi­ences: All the work put into one cam­paign must be lever­aged in the future. After all, suc­cess means draw­ing a line around a valu­able seg­ment and mean­ing­ful­ly reach­ing them with a cam­paign. That seg­ment will still be use­ful tomor­row, and this means that we can apply our new knowl­edge to a wide vari­ety of mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties in the future. Adobe Tar­get makes the reten­tion and shar­ing of this data effort­less. Its place in Adobe’s suite of mar­ket­ing tools means there’s nev­er any ques­tion as to whether your new data will trans­late to another

Com­bine insights: Adobe’s core ser­vices offer pro­file and audi­ence con­fig­u­ra­tion, mean­ing that all of your cal­cu­la­tions can take into account both first-par­ty, Adobe, and third-par­ty data. This is absolute­ly crit­i­cal. With this ser­vice you have a chan­nel for com­bin­ing authen­ti­cat­ed and anony­mous data into one con­gru­ent whole. This offers an impres­sive­ly clear lens through which to view your seg­ments and your indi­vid­ual cus­tomers, ele­gant­ly unit­ing types of data that pre­vi­ous­ly have been enor­mous­ly chal­leng­ing to unite.

Keep on top of your rules: As you start to assem­ble busi­ness rules to push con­tent to your users in a giv­en set of cir­cum­stances or sce­nar­ios, you need a tar­get­ing plat­form that will enable you to cre­ate those sce­nar­ios and then to val­i­date them for each of your per­sonas or even down to the indi­vid­ual user lev­el. Fideli­ty of expe­ri­ence is all impor­tant and con­flict­ing busi­ness rules that cause clash­ing unre­lat­ed prod­ucts to be shown or dupli­ca­tion of con­tent on the same page are harm­ful to the expe­ri­ence. The Adobe Tar­get Visu­al Expe­ri­ence Com­poser enables your team to cre­ate, deploy and main­tain opti­mi­sa­tion activ­i­ties with ease, as well as show­ing you, at a glance, a sum­mary of all of your activ­i­ties in a dash­board and pro­vide alerts about poten­tial activ­ity conflicts.

Keep imple­men­ta­tion easy: With Adobe Tar­get, you’re able to inject your sites with com­plex, rules-based tar­get­ing imme­di­ate­ly. What’s more, in addi­tion to the nec­es­sary frame­work work­ing out of the box, you have access to the industry’s broad­est list of tar­get­ing rules: com­plex fil­ters made as easy as the press of a button.