It’s Personal: The Science of Highly Targeted Content – Methodology and Ideology

It’s Personal: The Science of Highly Targeted Content – Methodology and Ideology

Last week, we explored the psychology behind highly personalized content (why it works) as well as the technology (how it works). This week, we look at the application of personalized content (methodology) and why it’s good practice for both marketers and consumers (ideology).

The Methodology of Personalized Content

Today’s technology affords us insightful data like we’ve never seen before. The ability to track and analyze that data is what allows us to pinpoint not only demographics, but also consumers’ behaviors (including the key search words and phrases they use), habits, interests, preferences, pain points and personal causes.

Marketers who don’t leverage that kind of information with relevant content on social media, in email campaigns and with key Google AdWords are wasting precious opportunities to engage and connect with their digital audiences. Considering that there are now more electronic devices in the world than people, that’s a monumental misstep.

Segmented marketing further personalizes content by allowing marketers to categorize consumers by common needs and responses to specific marketing strategies. Segmentation is guided by intelligent, accumulated consumer data and allows more time and money to be spent on crafting the most relevant messages for each segment. This is not to say that individuals are not considered in content marketing; quite the contrary. Segmented marketing simply eliminates the effort expended on those single individuals who will not respond to your message, no matter how well it’s crafted.

Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, and customized re-targeting campaigns allow marketers to create new messages based previous actions. Consider, for example, Amazon’s ability to show consumers entire catalogs of product recommendations based on past purchases or items that were put in their cart without a completed sale. In our culture of information overload and decision fatigue, that’s like having a personal shopper at our fingertips, one who knows just what we want.

Re-engagement campaigns are more effective with personalized content as well. A message of “It’s been awhile; we’ve missed you,” feels more special, because it’s clear the sender knows the recipient has engaged with them before. One charitable organization recently asked donors who hadn’t contributed in some time “Did We Do Something Wrong?”, going so far as to cast possible doubt on themselves and, thus, really – and genuinely – play on the heart strings.

Facebook knows a thing or two about the power of re-engagement. When it’s not engaging users with those quizzes (which vegetable would you be?), it’s re-engaging them with “best” photos, moments and memories of the year. Brilliant!

The Ideology of Personalized Content

Today’s responsible content marketers strive to provide customers and prospects with sincerely meaningful messages that help them, enlighten them, inspire them, encourage them, entertain them, better them. Long gone are the days of the self-serving, in-your-face hard sale. Highly personalized content serves the dual purpose of increasing consumers’ trust and engagement in your brand and strengthening your valued relationships with them.

Let our team of experts show you how to reach your prospects on a new – and very personal – level.



It’s Personal: The Science of Highly Targeted Content – Psychology and Technology

It’s Personal: The Science of Highly Targeted Content – Psychology and Technology

Have you noticed when you’re on your various social media platforms that the sponsored messages you’re getting are more and more personal and relevant to you in particular? A few years ago, users were getting content that had little or nothing to do with their tastes or interests – stuff that could have been sent to anyone. But now, it’s laser-focused on individuals or (more accurately), segments of individuals, right down to the type of shoes they like and the way they prefer to spend their free time.

Personalized content is certainly no accident, and more and more, consumers are welcoming it rather than feeling like they’re being invaded by Big Brother. As we grow more comfortable with and accustomed to highly targeted content, we’re not only okay with it, we expect it.

The Psychology of Personalized Content

Instead of feeling intruded upon by digital content that has little or no relevance to us, consumers are feeling understood. What could be better than that? According to Psychology Today, feeling understood is even more important than feeling loved, because if people don’t get who we are or what we’re about, all other needs can feel pretty meaningless.

Knowing who we are and what we’re about. That’s the very heart and soul of successful marketing, isn’t it? Marketers who know their audience and what makes them tick are far more likely to create lasting relationships with their prospects than those who are taking stabs in the dark. In fact, a 2017 study showed that 79% of companies that exceeded their revenue goals had a personalized digital media strategy in place.

The Technology of Personalized Content

What is to credit for extremely personalized content and, more importantly, its ability to engage consumers in truly meaningful ways? In a word, technology. In two words, advancing technology. As we know, technology is constantly ushering us into the future, and content marketers are benefiting considerably from the move. Reaching the right people at the right time with the right approach on the right media channel is increasingly possible. As data-rich tools and platforms become more and more sophisticated, content marketers are poised to thrive in their ability to identify audiences, track and characterize their behavior, and purposefully analyze it to create galvanizing content.

The Internet of Things may seem like high-tech on steroids now, but in less than 10 years, it stands to be as routine as getting directions from your smart phone. In a nutshell, the Internet of Things will allow us to have real-time, interactive media experiences on more than just our electronic devices. By way of trillions of sensors providing data streams on everyday items and products, marketers will be able to reach people in more private, personal spaces.

Creepy? Not if content marketers provide messages and experiences that feel welcome instead of invasive. Think of it this way: the technology that affords such intensely keen knowledge of individual consumers will also be the blueprint for precisely how to effectively reach them.

Next week, we’ll examine how to bring psychology and technology together in methodology and ideology. In the meantime, contact our team of experts to find out how to reach your prospects on a new – and very personal – level.