2015 is the Year of Online Personalization

Similar to the social & mobile revolutions, personalization is a wave that’s building in the world of online marketing and you need to be paying attention. It’s often talked about as this futuristic idea. But, I’m here to say that in 2015 you need to start thinking about how you can leverage data and insight to find, and more effectively engage, your audience by creating personal online experiences that are tailored to their interests.

We live in an attention economy. Just creating content online doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be able to command someone’s attention for very long, if at all.  The players that have been able to stand out and succeed are the ones that are leveraging consumer data to show their users the things they care about, where everyone else is giving a one sized fits all experience.

Example: Advertising

One of the biggest areas that you’ve likely heard or seen the the transformation of personalization play out is in the world of online advertising.  The plethora of data on consumer behavior has allowed advertisers and marketers to identify audiences that are the most likely to buy their products or take a desired action. The advertisement can then be showed to that specific audience.  Previously, advertisers bought advertising space based on where they thought a person was going to spend their time.   Now, advertisers can pay to get in front of a specific audience regardless of the what website it’s on.

As an advertiser, the ability to put the right ad in front of the right set of users based on their interests and context is incredibly exciting.  Otherwise, there’s too big of a chance that I’m wasting my dollars on someone that doesn’t care or isn’t ready for what I’m trying to tell/sell them.  For consumers, they care a whole lot less that it’s an ad if it’s relevant and targeted.

Example: Pandora

But personalization has been able to transcend beyond advertising and transform consumer content experiences as well.  One of the most popular examples is the personalized radio app Pandora.  There they’ve cataloged hundreds of thousands of songs and can match that music to the listener, based on how people have said they like, or dislike, different artists and genres of music. This creates a radio station specially tailored to the type of music you like and want to hear at that moment. It’s made Pandora incredibly successful in capturing and sustaining a massive user base.  Amazon does something similar with online shopping and has created a superior commerce experience.

Finding and Engaging Your Audience

As mentioned above, you live in a world where everyone has a mega phone.  In order to be successful, you have to leverage data to make sure you’re creating a compelling experience and reaching the right audience.  Otherwise, you’re just going to waste a lot of money and get lost amongst the noise.

At AddThis, we were at the forefront of the social and mobile revolutions. Now, we’re excited for 2015 and the year of online personalization.  We’re coming into it with an exciting and growing product suite that can help marketers, agencies, and website owners to find and engage their audiences online in a personal and relevant way that drives meaningful business results.  It all sits upon the world’s biggest data co-op of consumer behavior, which makes it all possible.  Sign up for our website tools or contact us in regards to our advertising products.