In­flu­enc­ing a user’s dig­i­tal jour­ney

En­gage­ment with an ad is a re­sponse and it hap­pens when per­fect emo­tional res­o­nance is es­tab­lished, say au­thors

Campaign Middle East - - CAMPAIGN -

The dig­i­tal eco-sys­tem is evolv­ing rapidly and mar­keters are keen to ex­plore sus­tain­able tech­niques that con­nect with users and mon­e­tise their ad spends. With the whole spec­trum of desk­top, mo­bile and so­cial me­dia that have sprung up, ad tech com­pa­nies of­fer spe­cialised so­lu­tions to achieve spe­cific tar­gets and re­tar­get­ing has proven its worth across each of th­ese.

The jour­ney be­gins - a quick look at re­tar­get­ing

Re­tar­get­ing iden­ti­fies users who have dropped off a web­site or a mo­bile app and reach them with per­son­alised ads across the in­ter­net. It works based on the user be­hav­iour dis­played on a web­site and iden­ti­fies their pref­er­ences through var­i­ous pa­ram­e­ters such as the drop-off page, num­ber of vis­its, pre­vi­ous pur­chases etc.

Re­tar­get­ing also ac­quires some unique at­tributes from search mar­ket­ing

In­tent: While search uses key­words to iden­tify con­sumer in­tent, re­tar­get­ing achieves this by slic­ing and dic­ing a cookie, de­vice ID etc.

Real time bid­ding: While search al­lows to bid by user for op­ti­mised ROAS, pro­gram­matic dis­play ads work around user be­hav­iour trends and pat­terns to pre­dict the right ad spend for each user.

Dur­ing the ini­tial days of re­tar­get­ing, ads were cus­tomised based on a few fixed pa­ram­e­ters that were common to the cam­paign and did not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect the user’s in­ter­ests and pref­er­ences. How­ever, due to the user’s grow­ing fa­mil­iar­ity with in­ter­net, the ‘one-siz­e­fits- all’ ap­proach didn’t work any­more.

De­vel­op­ing an ef­fec­tive rec­om­men­da­tion sys­tem was the big­gest chal­lenge. The im­pe­tus lay on de­ter­min­ing the most pre­ferred prod­uct/ser­vice for an in­di­vid­ual user and of­ten, there was large and di­verse amounts of data in­volved. To­day, with ad­vance­ments in web tech­nol­ogy, re­tar­get­ing has evolved from its prim­i­tive form and it is now pos­si­ble to cus­tomise ads for an in­di­vid­ual user based on his/her in­ter­ests and pref­er­ences. But that just solves half the prob­lem. For ef­fec­tive re- tar­get­ing, ads th­ese days have to be en­gag­ing and grab the user’s at­ten­tion through prod­uct/ ser­vice of­fer­ings that are aligned with the user’s pur­chase. 1. Ge­og­ra­phy is one of the big­gest con­trib­u­tors for the de­sign, the re­gional and so­cio-cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment in­forms the pref­er­ences of the con­sumer.

For ex­am­ple, we see big dif­fer­ence in con­sumer be­hav­iour across the Mid­dle East and Africa users. We see an ap­petite for a larger pal­ette of colours and an­i­ma­tions amongst Egyp­tian con­sumers, but more prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions on the cre­ative in Saudi with sub­tle colours. While in Kuwait, the dis­counts and of­fers on ban­ners are not well re­ceived like other mar­kets in GCC. En­gage­ment with an ad is a re­sponse and it hap­pens when a per­fect emo­tional res­o­nance is es­tab­lished. 2. Re­tar­get­ing ban­ners of­ten work best when a com­bi­na­tion of rec­om­men­da­tions or choices are pro­vided to the user. How­ever the ways in which one rec­om­mends prod­ucts are also spe­cific for ev­ery in­dus­try. For e-Com­merce buy­ers, pro­vid­ing brand rec­om­men­da­tions works bet­ter than prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions. But the re­verse holds true for lux­ury brands. 3. Gen­der is another ma­jor de­ter­mi­nant in terms of the kind of mes­sag­ing, colour pal­ette and the na­ture of goods one can cross-sell/ up­sell with the prod­ucts browsed by the cus­tomer. Ev­ery func­tion­al­ity/prod­uct def­i­ni­tion has mul­ti­ple man­i­fes­ta­tions, each fork­ing out to a dif­fer­ent price point.

Con­sumer strikes a bal­ance be­tween his/her pur­chas­ing ca­pac­ity and the ap­peal of the prod­uct, of­ten stretch­ing beyond his/her bud­get for the mar­ginal ex­tra and the banner must per­suade the con­sumer to do this. 4. The point in the pur­chase fun­nel, called the ‘Stage’, that the cus­tomer drops-off at (eg. Land­ing page, prod­uct page, shop­ping cart etc.) in­di­cates his/her readi­ness to con­sume the prod­uct. While stage can be an in­di­ca­tor of ur­gency, per­ti­nent mes­sag­ing can help bring a faster clo­sure to the pur­chase cy­cle. 5. The last vari­able at the con­sumer’s con­text is ur­gency. Con­sumers not only buy out of need for a prod­uct but also to ac­com­plish a sense of dis­cov­ery (very of­ten seen with books, movies, songs etc.) or com­plete a se­ries of col­lectibles (very of­ten seen with sports and his­toric mem­o­ra­bilia). In such cases there is lit­tle ur­gency ex­cept what is in­duced by the seller and a sense of clo­sure is gen­er­ally sought for such goods, mak­ing banner a key ac­tor in the en­tire play.

The fu­ture of per­son­al­i­sa­tion is at the in­ter­sec­tion of cus­tomer trans­ac­tion his­tory, con­text and in­tent. A bril­liant blend of rec­om­men­da­tion logic and clev­erly de­signed banner ads help con­nect well with users. With this, the dig­i­tal jour­ney comes to an end, un­til he starts brows­ing for some­thing else. Subra Krishnan is VP - prod­ucts and mar­ket­ing, and Am­jad Puliyali is GM - In­dia, Mid­dle East and Africa, Vizury

Krishnan(left) and Puliyali

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