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“What’s in a name?” Possibly quite a lot when it comes to personalized marketing.

Several months back I received a marketing email from Sprinklr that was rather ironic given its message about effective use of data. It opened like this: “ Hi {lead.First Name:default=}.”  Obviously, something went wrong, and I saw the code rather than my name.

Of course, personalized emails are not all that unusual any more, so some marketers have upped their game with personalized video. After receiving the “A Dog’s Purpose” video (above) — in a correctly personalized email — I contacted Adgreetz’s co-founder and CEO Eric Frankel about what data is used for this kind of personalized video marketing, and how the video was delivered to people who are 1) dog owners, and 2) have a dog of that particular name? 

Frankel said that for this video, “AdGreetz, Universal Pictures, and VCA (the U.S.’s largest vet hospital chain) utilized the VCA mailing list to converse with dog owners and literally include their dogs’ names in each personalized video.”  He added that there are other way to find dog owners.

Generally, “AdGreetz’ proprietary video personalization platform utilizes eight unique types of data: brand, geo/browser, cookie, third-party, social, real-time, publisher, user-generated data.” Those would be drawn on for a variety of personalized messages. While he stressed that there really is no limit, he offered a number of possibilities familiar to regular DMN readers: demographic data like name, location, gender, education, and marital/familial status, as well as contextual data like weather, time of day, nearest retail location, time since last purchase, etc.

While not everyone has fully mastered or embraced it yet, Frankel is confident that the future of personalized marketing is bright:  “Yes, personalized marketing is going to (eventually) be embraced by 90 percent of all brands.”

It’s just not going to happen within the next year or two. That’s because brands tend move slowly when it comes to a shift in marketing directions. He points out that it also took a while, specifically “a decade-plus” for brands to grasp the possibilities for shifting from commercials on network TV alone to expanding into “advertising on cable TV” and taking the leap into cyberspace with websites, e-commerce offerings, “and many other ‘newer’ tactics.” 

Though not all brands are there yet, certainly, there have been some other examples of video personalization such as the promotion of Alien  by Channel 4 in the UK . Frankel acknowledged that, though that movie connection worked toward a different aim, the personalized aspect did reflect “the trend towards ‘smart,’ hyper-relevant, data-driven, personalized video ads” that can be so much more effective than “one-size-fits-all commercials.” 

Aside from increasing engagement, the ads can pull the call to action with the action itself when they are “clickable.” That shifts “the entire ad model from” something that is merely awareness-based to something that is, in fact, activation-based. He offered an example of an that would say: “Ariella – click the link now to purchase your tickets to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales at the Loews 68th Street Theater this weekend.”

Frankel views this as revolution in “the way brands communicate with consumers.”  It just may take a few years for some of them to get on board.

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