Personalized Advertising Is Powerful, And Consumers Will Trade Personal Data For It

Consumers are okay with advertisers collecting some form of personal data about them, as long as the advertising is relevant to them. This finding comes from programmatic and social media video and display ad platform provider Cinch, who in a survey of 500 U.S. consumers, found that 64 percent are comfortable with brands collecting some form of data—from demographic to social media profile information—to deliver a more relevant, personalized ad experience.

Roughly one-third (31 percent) of consumers feel that ads on social media are personalized or tailored to them 75 percent of the time or more. In addition, 35 percent indicated that they see the same ad too many times, which Cinch identifies as a sign that brands aren't using the data being collected to their full advantage.

While technology is available for brands to leverage data to reach consumers in more personalized ways, many brands aren't tapping into this capability. Cinch CEO Oz Etzioni says, “Not recognizing the power of personalization is a big misstep among marketers. The data, creative tools and technology are available. Brands need to commit to building personalization-first strategies to create more meaningful consumer connections."

The Cinch survey found that most consumers—79 percent—cited Facebook as the most effective social media platform for brands to reach them, followed by Instagram (56 percent) and YouTube (47 percent). A third of consumers said that a combination of static and video ads on social media influenced them to make a purchase.

Etzioni adds, "Personalization needs to be pervasive across platforms and ad units. Unifying data and creative to create holistic campaigns is critical as consumers move through their digital lives consuming all different types of content throughout their day."

Well-executed social media campaigns are increasingly driving direct sales. According to the survey, 70 percent of consumers have purchased a product or service after seeing an ad on social media. In fact, more than half (57 percent) made a purchase in the past 12 months and, of those consumers, 60 percent have purchased between two and five products because of social media ads. Also, after being exposed to an ad, 80 percent of consumers reported using a search engine to find the product, and 61 percent indicated they have visited a physical store location.

"While there is no question that social ads are powerful, marketers must amp up their creative strategy,” says Etzioni. “An effective social media video shouldn't feel like an ad at all. It should be personalized to the viewer and create an experience, rather than just deliver a sales message. Brands who follow this approach will not only see a direct sales lift, but they will also see increases in search and in-store traffic, as well."

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