Marketing personalization can be pretty sophisticated stuff, and it’s worth the effort. Check out our other personalization post if you want a brief primer on why and what it means.
Before you start any serious personalization effort, you have to figure out how you’re going to address these four requirements: Clean, connected data, custom creative, and automation.
As mentioned in the previous post, you need data about your audience, in order to actually know what message to show them, and when. That data comes from several different sources. Some you own (first party data) and others you probably buy (third party data). Connecting all of these data sources to build out audience segments is the first step.
A Data Management Platform (DMP) can help you connect all of this data and deliver it to your channels.
You’re going to be connecting data across different sources, as described above, and often these sources aren’t measuring apples to apples. As you connect this data, you want to make sure you’re using a consistent taxonomy across the board. You are deciding how to frame the information, so keep it clean and legible, and applied consistently. Also, make sure there aren’t any significant blind spots in your data. Are you measuring everything you need to be, in order to deliver on the personalization you’re planning on?
Custom creative (lots of it)
Next, imagine that for every customer touchpoint you are personalizing, you’ll need custom creative. The more segmentation and testing you do, and the larger the inventory you’re selling, the more creative you’ll need. That can be a real stumbling block for people who haven’t budgeted for it. Building quality creative at scale isn’t exactly easy.
There are a few ways to scale up your creative production. It really helps a lot to have your brand assets, template concepts and messaging ready before you start with any of these options.
Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) is a lot like website optimization, but for banner ads. You have a base template of creatives where images and copy automatically swaps in.
Creative Management Platform (CMP) is a tool that creative teams can use to manually adjust swaths of creative all at the same time.
Creative Production Team (i.e. People!) – this isn’t a tool, but in some cases you may find that you don’t need a full DCO or CMP, and a team of people will get the job done.
Chances are, you already have some delivery automation in place. For example, you’re probably using an Email Service Provider (ESP) with segmentation capabilities, a programmatic ad platform, and a website testing/personalization solution. These are the tools that will deliver the custom creative to the targeted audience, and the data management runs in the background to tie these two together.