How Personalization deCREEPYfies Advertising

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How Personalization deCREEPYfies Advertising


When someone hears about person-based marketing, many ask if it isn’t too creepy for the customers to see personalized ads. I have to be honest here. I believe online advertising overall is quite creepy. Personalization, however, makes it less so.

Things went wrong for advertising a long time ago. Advertisers are spending millions of dollars on promotion, while customers are turning on ad-blockers, prepared to sacrifice their browsing experience, just to avoid seeing the ads. So, publishers starve not being able to generate enough money from the ineffective ad-based marketing campaigns.

Why do we hate advertising? Mostly, because it is irrelevant. It was supposed to be a useful piece of information. When a medieval shoemaker put up a shoe sign, it was a helpful piece of information helping consumers to find the product they needed. But now, when you see shoe advertising on internet banners, it’s either boring, or annoying, and rarely useful.

The best indication of irrelevance is a click-through-rate (CTR). Yes, sometimes, people are too busy to click on a useful piece of information, which makes a 100% CTR unrealistic. Yet when did we agree to eat a humble pie of 0.005% CTR?

How can you live with the fact that only 1 out of 20,000 consumers is interested in your offer?

Probably that’s why people who hear about personal advertising for the first time imagine a personalized annoyance hell – an irritating piece of information that chases you everywhere – like a mosquito or a retargeting campaign during a holiday season.

Surprisingly, our person-based marketing campaigns demonstrate the opposite. CTRs on personalized ads are 10 to 100 times higher. We enjoy 0.2-1% CTR on the per-impression basis, and 3-10% CTR on the per-user basis. We’ve even witnessed 40% CTRs for two test campaigns!

It turns out that people stop hating ads if those are relevant.

Imagine, you are a CTO of a large enterprise. What excites you more: an ad for a new razor or an article on a new AI-powered cloud backup? This is exactly how person-based campaigns are different from traditional consumer advertising.

Of course, there is standard hygiene: restrain from personal messages in banners, control for the frequency of each banner and encourage diversity of messages by making them relevant to the person you are showing it to.

Ads can be more than just relevant if they are person-based. More than that, personalized ads tune down the annoyance factor and create an excellent experience for customers and better-performing campaigns for you.

To sum up, personalization deCREEPYfies advertising making it much more relevant and much less annoying.

What do you think?

About the Author

Dmitri is a co-founder of Influ2 and a marketing guru with 20 years of hands-on experience in online marketing and advertising. An experienced public speaker with focus on personalized targeting and efficient marketing spend. Dmitri is a serial entrepreneur, having successfully launched, managed and advanced multiple IT-powered companies in US and EU markets. He has obtained his executive MBA degree from Columbia Business School and currently is a CEO at Influ2.

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