I completed a Digital Analytics module on Coursera recently. The last question asked about our views on the personalisation of ads. I thought I’ll post my answer here as well.


Although advertising is mass medium, the creative ideally should feel like it is speaking to a person. The idea that we can display personalised ads to consumers using data and tech is an attractive idea, but one I would use only to enhance a solid campaign concept.

Part of the allure of personalised ads is to use automation to produce ads that can change dynamically, allowing hundreds of ads variations to be created for each consumer.

I feel that most of the time personalisation is implemented at the expense of creative quality, particularly for personalised ads that have been automatically churned out using those data points. Not only that, what parts of the ad are we going to make personalised? Personally, I feel that altering the price, which is a common way clients try to personalise ads, may work for certain verticals such as airlines but not for most brands. Switching around parts of an ad such as price, copy, background and more, is not a formula for creating an impactful ad that would move the hearts of consumers.

This is why i feel personalisation of ads is over-glorified. However, I look forward to the success of personalisation techniques brought forth by purposeful data analysis and accurate integration of data. After all, both marketing data analysts and creatives want consumer insights to better understand the consumer. I also understand that realistically it is important to plan for a mix of campaigns balancing costs, creative quality and time-to-market. I can see why digital personalisation at scale has been termed Marketing’s Holy Grail.

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