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Personalized Advertising: How to Approach Customers without Being Creepy

Posted February 3, 2014 by fran @ 1:30 pm

Thanks to Big Data and the advancements in online advertising technology, companies now have a ton of data and insights about their customers. Aside from having people’s demographic information, brands can also track users’ browsing and purchase history, and they can use all that information to develop personalized ads and effectively convert customers.

And while that’s all well and good, it’s important to note that just because you can leverage people’s information for your ad campaigns, doesn’t mean that you should.  While using a healthy amount of user information in your ads can certainly create better and more personalized experiences, using too much data can creep people out.

To prevent that from happening, below are some online advertising best practices that you can implement to ensure that you won’t creep people out.

Don’t show up in every single website that they visit – This applies to advertisers running Remarketing campaigns. When used correctly (and in moderation), Remarketing ads an actually boost conversion rates by upto 125%. However, when used in excess, you could come off as being a bit to “stalkerish” to your customers.

For instance, when a user visits your site without completing a purchase, it’s perfectly okay to give them a friendly reminder by showing up on some of the sites that they visit. Do note that the key word here is “some”. If you overdo your efforts (i.e. if you show up on all their sites, all the time), you could turn them away.

That’s why at AdMedia, we allow advertisers to set a cap on their Remarketing campaigns. We enable you to determine the frequency of your ads so that they won’t follow people around in every website that they visit. By doing so, you are able to give people a small, but convincing nudge in the right direction, without overwhelming them with “in your face” marketing messages.

Be transparent – It may sound cliché, but honestly really is the best policy, especially when you’re dealing with consumer tracking and privacy issues. When you’re collecting data and monitoring the behavior of your site visitors, it’s essential that you be very transparent about your practices.

Sufficiently describe the information you collect as well as your data-gathering methods in your website’s terms of service and privacy policy. Also include the reason why you’re collecting user information. Tell users that you’re only doing it to give them a better experience, and not because you have some “Big Brother” agenda against them.

Doing so will go a long way in gaining the trust and esteem of your users. People love transparency and they’ll respect you more for it.

Give users more control over their information – Finally, it’s important that you empower users to take control of their data. Give them the tools to see exactly what’s being collected about them and how to remove their information from your data base.

You can also give users more control over how your messages are being delivered. For example, if you send out marketing emails, let your users customize message frequency and content.

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