6 Tips for Personalizing Your Digital Marketing Strategy

a graphic illustrating personalized ads for coffee

Consumers today appreciate a personalized marketing experience. According to the Next in Personalization 2021 report from McKinsey, companies who do a good job at demonstrating customer intimacy generate faster rates of revenue growth. And the closer organizations get to the consumer, the bigger the gains.

A personalized experience for consumers is a key consideration at every touch point through the marketing funnel, from their first exposure to a brand, all the way to their post-purchase experience. This is exactly why advertisers should be personalizing their digital campaigns. 

Read on to learn what personalized marketing is, its benefits, and how to leverage it for your programmatic campaigns. 

What is Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing is when messaging is tailored to an individual or a specific audience, and further refined by where they’re at in their relationship with your brand. In digital advertising, personalized marketing leverages data like purchase history and demographics to create ad campaigns that are hyper relevant to the target audience. 

The Benefits of Personalizing Your Marketing

The goal of personalized marketing is to make consumers feel as though a brand is aligned with their interests and values. For example, a retargeting campaign that shows users specific products that they’ve previously browsed would give those users the feeling that those ads are meant for them specifically.

So what are the benefits of personalized marketing?

  • It gives marketers more insights into their customers.
  • Develops customer relationships and trust.
  • Drives customers further down the funnel.
  • Leads to customer retention and loyalty.
  • Encourages customer engagement, feedback and brand affinity. 

Tips For a Personalized Marketing Strategy

Building a personalized marketing strategy is an ongoing process. The following 6 tips will help you to get started:

1. Leverage Data to Guide Your Strategy

The key to personalized marketing is to understand who your audience is. Data plays an important role in this because it provides the insights you need to develop an accurate picture of your customers. Demographic data, behavioural data, as well as website and transaction data can all be leveraged to help you personalize your digital marketing strategy. 

There are a couple things to keep in mind when sifting through the data you have available. First, review what data you currently have and whether it is the right fit for reaching your ideal audience. For example, if you’re trying to reach millennials who live in a specific area, you’ll need to ensure you have that type of demographic data in hand. 

Be sure to leverage data that is still relevant. Data that is too old might not provide accurate representation of your customers. Second, ensure you have access to data through the entire customer journey. Knowing their journey from start to finish can help you to craft ad messaging that aligns with the different touch points throughout the funnel. 

2. Create Detailed Customer Profiles

Customer profiles provide factual information about the demographics and buying behaviors of your target audience. The profile describes everything you need to know about a specific group of customers. They are an important part of creating personalized ad campaigns because customer profiles provide the information you need to create a digital strategy that aligns with the wants and needs of your audience. 

To build customer profiles, start by identifying who your audience is broadly, and then narrow that audience down into a profile that aligns with your product or offering. You can do this by analyzing your customer’s journey, and considering demographics like their age, income level, family size, occupation, education level and marital status.

When you understand who your customers are, including what channels they are using, you can identify what digital ads will perform best in reaching those profiles. This way, you’ll not only create campaigns that appeal to your ideal customers—you’ll ensure those campaigns reach that audience too.  

3. Develop Creatives That Speak to Your Ideal Audience

The creative assets for a campaign are an opportunity for you to speak to your audience in a way that is relatable, educational, and captures their attention. They’re a great tool for connecting with your audience and building their trust. 

The key to developing personalized ad creative is understanding your audience. Know who your target audience is, what appeals to them, and look to previous campaigns to see what has resonated with them in the past. From there, review your campaign objectives and brainstorm campaign messaging that serves those objectives, but aligns with what you know about your target audience. Ensure your ad’s messaging is clear, that the copy is engaging, and the ad uses eye-catching imagery. 

Leveraging creative tactics is another way to personalize your ad campaigns. Creative tactics allow you to set parameters on a campaign to use specific creatives under defined circumstances, without having to create a separate campaign for each rule. For example, you could set the parameters to show different creatives based on the time of day, day of the week, device type, geo, and even by domain. 

4. Use Contextual Advertising to Deliver Relevant Ads

Contextual advertising is a cookieless targeting methodology that leverages content rather than user data to reach the right audience, at the right time. By targeting based on content, you’re able to connect with consumers who are receptive to the messaging of your ad.

Contextual advertising approaches targeting using a different strategy than behavioral targeting. Behavioural targeting identifies ideal users based on their attributes, whereas contextual advertising targets users based on the content they are consuming at that time. Aligning ads with relevant content leads to a more personalized experience for your audience. For example, with contextual targeting a person browsing a blog about types of coffee might be served an ad for a coffee maker. 

5. Re-Engage Your Audience With Dynamic Retargeting

In today’s programmatic advertising landscape, most users need to encounter your marketing several times before they are willing to complete a conversion. Retargeting campaigns are a great tool for re-engaging an already interested prospect with more relevant messaging. Whether they’ve seen or clicked on one of your ads, or browsed your website, the audience that is retargeted is one that has shown an interest in your business or products. 

By reaching a user repeatedly, the effort needed to win their conversion is a little less than prospects who haven’t engaged with you. With dynamic retargeting you’re able to serve an ad that shows a product a user has looked at before. This personalized ad reminds the user about that product or service, encouraging further engagement and brand recall. 

6. Run a Brand Lift Study to Optimize Your Ads

A brand lift study measures the impact of your campaigns across all your programmatic placements by providing insight into the consumer sentiment and brand affinity of people who have been exposed to your media. It can be used to measure the impact of upper funnel campaigns on the perception of your brand, as well as for measuring impact of consideration or purchase intent for mid- to lower funnel campaigns. 

You can leverage brand lift study to go beyond traditional metrics like impressions, and gain deeper insight into your campaign’s impact on consumer perceptions and behaviour. By identifying your target consumer’s awareness, perception, consideration and likelihood of purchase, you can better judge the effectiveness of a campaign and then use those insights to optimize your campaign to be more personalized toward your ideal consumer. 

Personalize Your Marketing Campaigns

Personalization is all about knowing the needs, preferences, and interests of your current and target audience. This way, you’re able to cater your digital campaigns to give that audience exactly what they are looking for, and at the moment they’re looking for it. Personalizing your digital campaigns will help you give your audience (and potential customers) a positive experience that captures their attention, and drives them down the marketing funnel. 

Want to run exceptional programmatic campaigns? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.

Erin Hynes
Erin Hynes

Content Marketing Manager


Erin is a content marketer with experience crafting thought-provoking content that drives awareness and supports customer acquisition. She is also a travel writer and podcaster in the tourism space.