The trouble with solutions is not creating them, but making them a reality. We’ve all experienced that ‘aha!’ moment when the perfect way to eradicate a problem presents itself, only to flounder when it comes to how it can be put into action.

Right now the digital advertising industry is in a similar predicament. It’s obvious that tackling ad personalisation is vital to deliver a more sophisticated online experience. But without a clear strategy to address the issue advertisers are still targeting the masses with generic campaigns — and failing to resonate with interested individuals.

The growing adoption of ad blocking software underlines consumers’ current dissatisfaction with the online experience. Over 70% of consumers block ads because they find them irritating and 88% are driven to use blockers by generic pop-up ads. Such high figures ought to be a wake up call for the industry.

Understanding the problem is half the battle, now advertisers need to find practical ways to make ads more relevant and contextually accurate. Advertisers and publishers are struggling to utilise the technology already at their disposal. There are smart tools available which are already capable of improving inventory quality and advertising quality – yet they remain largely untapped – all that’s needed is a greater understanding.

Everything is personalised, but nothing is relevant

Ad personalisation is no longer a bonus for consumers – it’s a prerequisite. The online audience has become accustomed to retail sites that remember their shoe size; VOD channels that suggest new programmes in their favourite genre; and supermarkets that automatically stock their basket with frequently purchased items.

Indeed, recent studies show that 36% of consumers are actually happy to receive ads if they are relevant and targeted, and perhaps more importantly — over 60% are instantly turned off if they are not. For brands to gain a competitive edge and increase consumer loyalty, they must ensure ads are relevant, perfectly matched to their environment, and served at the ideal moment, with the right message.

With increased connectivity generating unprecedented levels of consumer data, meeting this need should be simple. But this is where the confusion begins. Advertisers understand that a strong data foundation is crucial to deliver personalised and impactful ads, but they are often lost when it comes to sifting through the giant cloud of audience data to extract the insights they need.

Introducing first-party advanced profiling

Turning consumer-generated data into a basis for personalised ads is not impossible when you have the right tools. Fortunately for advertisers, innovations in smart tech have delivered just that with tools such as first-party advanced profiling, which enables them to delve into their audience data and unleash its valuable insights.

The basic principle of these tools is aggregated and efficient analysis that produces instantly applicable insights. Online content is analysed using techniques such as advanced semantic analysis — Natural Language Processing — and unique algorithms based on previous user interactions. This combination allows advertisers to predict how likely it is that a reader will to click through or complete a purchase. It also provides an understanding of a consumer’s interests, behaviour, and habits based on their engagement with online content. These rich insights provide the necessary data for advertisers to tailor campaigns to target consumers who have been identified to have a pre-disposed interest in the brand message.

By enriching customer-related data, advertisers can carefully tailor campaigns to ensure they are relevant, engaging, and ideally suited to their context. For publishers, the detailed insights pave the way for better audience segmentation and targeting accuracy, which in turn improves performance for the brands that advertise on their sites.

By making better use of their first-party data, both advertisers and publishers can boost interactions and ROI, while creating content that consumers want to see.

Getting ahead of the consumer

As standards of ad personalisation increase, so too do consumer expectations and while meeting individual needs is vital, it will soon no longer be enough to make ads stand out. To captivate the online audience, advertisers will need to get ahead of consumers and use intelligent technology to anticipate their needs before they arise.

By harnessing progressive technologies that develop audience profiles over time, advertisers can ensure they are always one step in front of their audience. Instead of adapting ads to audience interests and preferences in real time, advertisers can use predictive tech to combine data detailing audience habits as well as past purchases and activity to determine what they are likely to purchase next, and when.

This will enable them to serve relevant and personalised ads that demonstrate a deep understanding of the audience, and significantly boost brand perception. Ads will be seen as relevant enhancers, rather than irritating content consumers want to block.

The tools needed to enhance ad personalisation are within the digital advertising industry’s grasp. By mastering smart analysis and predictive technologies, advertisers can sort through the mass of consumer data and obtain the precise, accurate insight they need. A better targeting of individual’s needs will boost the relevance and effectiveness of ad placements and, in turn, reduce the desire to block ads.

Giovanni Strocchi

Giovanni Strocchi


Giovanni Strocchi is CEO at ADmantX.