Your eyes only – data driven personalised web advertising

I don’t tend to cover web related matters here too much, even though website management has formed part of my role at times. However, when specific opportunities come up for integrating or enhancing insight with web techniques, I’m always interested. At this week’s Technology for Marketing exhibition I stopped by online ad serving solution provider Mediaplex, for a run-down on their services. In brief, they hold advertisers’ online adverting inventory and serve it to media sites where advertising has been placed. In this way, the are able to ensure the latest version of an ad, appropriate to the audience in which it is being displayed, without the advertiser having the nightmare of managing myriad different advertising locations and creative executions manually.

Such services get more sophisticated though, in that they are able to recognise repeat visitors to a given site (through the use of cookies) and serve a version of the ad appropriate to such an individual; perhaps building on a creative theme or trying an alternative messaging angle. In addition, whilst at a rudimentary level, this technology is beginning to allow one-to-one advertising, or at least ads that are highly segmented. By linking their ad serving platform to an advertiser’s CRM data, it becomes possible to create customer and prospect segments to which specific messaging and creative can be targeted. By recognising visitors using previously placed cookies, highly relevant advertising can be placed, appropriate to the individual’s purchasing cycle or previously stated requirements, perhaps.

Mediaplex don’t have real-time links from their platform to CRM systems today, relying on relatively unsophisticated batch data transfer to share segmentation and ad targeting rules. The possibilities to build on this readily present themselves though, and apart from the usual privacy and “big brother” considerations, another powerful use of marketing data presents itself for improving relevance and effectiveness of marketing communications.

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