Five ways brands have won at personalised relevant marketing

Blog | 24 Oct, 2016

Personalisation is on the rise and customers are now the critics and creators of their online experiences.


On Friday 14th October we held a breakfast briefing in The Shard to debate the latest ways brands are creating relevant and personal online experiences that convert.

Forrester reported that personalisation is now expected across content served, for accelerated searches and to offer guidance on customers' behalf, and this, in turn, gives them a more emotional brand connection.

At a recent conference Google emphasised that consumers are increasingly giving their data freely, expecting it to be used to make their customer experience more relevant.

Personalisation: The Stats

1. Service now comes second to quality when people make decisions about purchases.

2. 40% of customers are now actively interested in the relevancy services they get online, such as reminding them about upcoming birthdays and gift suggestions.

3. 86% of brands personalise their communications.

4. 68% of consumers in the UK and US now expect the information they give in one place, to be available in another.

5. 48% expressed an interest in artificial intelligence (AI) approaches to engagement, such as chat bots or virtual assistants.

6. The above results either increase dramatically or are weighted more highly in younger age groups.

Sources: Forrester’s ‘Personlization And The Rise of Indivisualized Experiences’ report, DMA ‘New Rules of Engagement’ study, Experian Information Solutions, 2015 Digital Marketer Report

Alongside Google, we welcomed marketers from Cheapflights, Experian, The Financial Times, JUST EAT, LinkedIn, Nestle, Vanugard, World Pay and more to debate the latest in marketing personalisation. 

Here are some of the case studies discussed that morning:

Group audiences and serve funnel-based remarketing

Personalisation can be tailored by categories and needn’t be on an individual level.

Experian worked with Stream:20 and Jellyfish to provide a more tailored marketing experience using funnel-based remarketing messages.

By effectively reacting to their customer’s stage in their purchase journey they saw a conversion uplift of 18% and cost savings of 61% YOY. See the groupings and outcomes below:

Remarketing tip

Get creative with YouTube pre-roll marketing. We used it to speak directly via video to our remarketing audience about AdWords training.

Our trainer said ‘I know you’ve been to our website and are interested in AdWords training, sign up today to learn how we did this’.  

Here are some other great YouTube Pre-Roll examples.

Change search journeys with live data

Our paid search team were getting frustrated with constantly bid adjusting and having to manage all the iterations. They started to question the efficiency of this approach.

They thought, why keep tinkering with bids at such a detailed level? Why not use technology to increase the performance of PPC through more relevant messages in the first place, essentially changing the user journey? They did this using live data.

One example was for Jamie Oliver’s Jamie Magazine, where they incorporated live weather data for tailored messages based on the users location:

By writing a script to incorporate location and weather data they created ads like, ‘it’s not sunny but Jamie’s got summer on a plate’. These experienced up to a 39% conversion increase in some locations.

Food for thought: The more relevant your PPC the higher your quality score.

Use technology features for a fun CX

Ultimate Guitar, the guitarist community, provides chords and tabs for over 800,000 songs and have a popular mobile application. They used mobile technology during an app engagement drive for a comically-timed push notificaiton.

The application obtains access to users smartphone microphone (stated within the download’s T’s & C’s).

They then used the microphone to detect sound as a trigger for a push notification at a highly unusual moment.

The microphone detects when a toilet flushes and then notifies the smartphone user that most toilets flush in E flat.

How do we know this? Because of the memorable, humorous experience was shared at the breakfast briefing because the user re-engaged with the app as a result.


Use programmatic to reach highly relevant audiences

Jellyfish worked with Nescafé Dolce Gusto to help drive coffee machine sales using display advertising.

The programmatic advertising profiled and targeted different audiences based on their online behaviour – i.e. audience signals.

Why would they NOT want to target people who are interested in coffee machines or who have been on their website?

As a result Nestlé only paid for contextually relevant display advertising, and in doing so, achieved a 45% increase in coffee machine sales YOY. 

Watch this Google summary video:


Look to Google

Keeping an eye on Google can inspire ways to copy, align, or compete with the giant.

People are either used to, or quickly adapt to Google’s ever-evolving, usability improvements.


They strive to provide leading UX and best practice ways to use data for better personalisation.

A prime example is returning visitor form auto-completion. 

Back in 2011, to reduce frustration and drop offs, Google Chrome introduced Autofill.


Google are increasingly providing information services within search competing with industries directly.

For example if you Google "trains from London Bridge to Tonbridge", Google provides the answer. Before there were just regular listings and adverts.

Now Southern Eastern Railway are competing using a paid ad:


Could you add additional services, tools or improve upon what Google is offering?

Differentiate your calculator, add a ‘find your nearest currency exchange rate location’ to your travel site, get listed in Google Shopping (case study example) or offer an exclusive discount only found on your brand site.


Final thoughts

There were a few final points shared before wrapping up for networking:

•  Consider going rogue and return to blanket advertising like Procter & Gamble, shunning personalisation altogether. Likely to appeal most to Pharmecuitical and CPG companies.

• Educational messages with more information are becoming increasingly more effective for conversion than cold, hard CTAs.

• Get buy-in from compliance or the C-level by putting them in the user’s shoes with live usability testing.

The closing consensus was that irrelevant contexts and messages no longer provide ‘successful’ marketing experiences unless your goal is simple brand awareness.


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