The Future of Content: Predictive Personalization

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DMPs — data management platforms — are the secret sauce of the programmatic world. Think of a DMP as massive database that records all your digital footprints and behaviors across the entire Web and apps. In addition to these behavioral signals, it also enhances its consumer profiles by adding second- and third-party data to them. This junction of behavioral and audience data creates a treasure chest brimming with consumer information. Simply put, a data management platform not only knows that you are looking for a new car, but it also knows your current car, approximate credit score, and family size.

Today we leverage DMPs to make smarter bidding decisions in the real-time bidding (RTB) world. By using smart DMPs we make sure that we spend our brands’ media dollars efficiently and on target — serving the right ad to the right person at the right moment in the correct context. It’s a truly beautiful process, and as an innovative industry we continue to expand on its uses and abilities.

But the potential for DMPs and audience data is so much greater; it should (and could) go far beyond delivering those programmatic 728x90px banners.

In fact, with the rise of content marketing and the advances in CMS and personalization technology, I believe the future of digital content will be more fully realized from the marriage of those technologies — combining audience data from DMPs with advanced CMS capabilities to create flexible website content based on user profiles.

So how would this work? Let’s take the automotive industry as an example. There are multiple vendors that sell amazing consumer data on car ownership. This allows us to know what type of vehicle a visitor is likely to drive, what type of vehicle an in-market consumer is looking for, and which models he previously considered.

Now imagine using that knowledge not only to deliver ads based on purchase intent or search behavior, but to actually deliver a truly personalized consumer experience on a brand site. For instance, a Chrysler owner is interested in purchasing a new luxury SUV and visits our brand site. By combining the audience data from the DMP and the power of personalization, the site can totally customize the experience and serve up content just for that user at that moment. It should immediately show a favorable comparison of their current vehicle against the model they are looking at. It could also use historical data to compare it against other makes/models that visitor might have evaluated in the past.

We could use some of the audience data to highlight facts we know the consumer to care about. If the consumer has children, let’s talk about safety. If they live in the Northeast, talk about how the car handles in the snow and heated seats.

The same should apply to the visuals that are shown. If I live in Boston, don’t show me an image of the car driving along Hollywood Boulevard; show it pushing effortlessly through the never-ending snow and mud — or along the Charles River on a beautiful summer day, depending on the season.

We all know that A/B testing and personalization are what increase our conversion rates and what will make a difference when it comes to closing the sale. So why use this enormous amount of audience data to only deliver ads they might ignore? Instead, we can connect it to our brand sites and leverage it as targeted, data-driven content that delivers on the future of personalization.

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