Personalisation is the future of data-driven marketing

Social media is the biggest communication revolution since the internet itself. Together they have redefined CRM capabilities in a way that seemed unimaginable as little as a decade ago.  We used to talk about leaving a digital footprint, in this day and age our very DNA is left from one digital point to another.  As we move swiftly between platforms, we’re also logged into several devices – which means there is increasingly more opportunity for advertisers to play a part in the individual’s everyday life in an extremely tailored way.

Data-driven marketing for personalisation was a hot topic at the Digital Marketing World Forum in Singapore last week. I was fortunate to take part in a panel on ‘Data Driven Marketing for Personalised Targeting’, and the panel of brands and agencies addressed the question: To what extent can added personalisation add value to the digital marketing campaign?

Here are some of the key discussion points:

1. How is the concept of direct marketing being taken in to the digital sphere?

We can get really specific with direct marketing messages online and in real time by deploying data and technology – we’re closer and closer to achieving the holy grail of right message, right time, right environment.

The sweet spot here is that you are effectively hardly ever prospecting, you’re in a perpetual state of targeting people close to the bottom of the marketing funnel.

Website custom audiences that allow you to be re-targeting in real time, and things like DCO to show the right product at the right time to the right consumer

And from a consumer’s perspective it can be a good experience to only be marketing to this way – very high relevancy.

We’re only just starting to get this right though – re-marketing doesn’t really work yet does it?

2. What value does personalisation add to a marketing campaign?

Look at the Share a Coke campaign. In the summer of 2013 and 2015, Coke replaced their iconic logo with popular names. The campaign helped fuel revenue and volume growth in 2014, according to the Coca Cola’s website.

This wildly successful campaign is a reflection of today’s ‘me first’ mobile generation. Our newsfeeds, food delivery and Uber are all tailored to the consumer – personalisation is not just something that adds to a campaign, in the next few years it will be essential.

In a world where consumers consciously ‘give-away’ anonymity in exchange for customized, efficient digital tools – fitbits, concert trackers, music streaming – it’s more of a crime than ever to not personalise marketing messages. It’s now a basic requirement.

Eventually, the entire concept of ‘a campaign’ will no longer exist, as advertisers will be tailoring their ads to the habits of the consumer and targeting them with the exact product they need when they are in the right phase of the consideration cycle.

As well as first party data, rich third party data powered by telcos, GPRS-enabled apps and social media will bring this to the next level.  We’re already experimenting with targeting commuters with taxi app install ads with tailored creative based on their commutes.  It’s beautiful.

3. How can we tailor executions across social platforms?

The walled gardens raised by social media platforms means that we can’t capture cookies with third-party technology so we ‘lose’ them when they move from one publisher to another. This is frustrating an industry challenge as we can’t move them down the purchase funnel with sequential creatives and utilize things like frequency caps.

Custom audiences are the ‘current future’ of tailored executions though.  Advertisers can batch upload a list of users and send specific advertisements to them, or exclude them – this is the most effective way to tailor executions right now. Paired with bidding technology and a great operations team, it can be very effective.

Working with a tech stack that has APIs in to multiple publishers is also key – you can take content learnings from You Tube and apply them to an interest platform like Facebook, for example.

4. What is the status of programmatic advertising and automation in Asia?

Simplistically the future is the same as everywhere else in the world – one day pretty soon nearly all advertising will be bought in an automated fashion in an auction environment with the advertiser dictating how much they are willing to pay for that creative message to be in front of that user at that time based on how much that engagement is worth to them.  Hopefully they’ll be using lifetime customer value to deduce that!

The challenge in Southeast Asia right now is that we have a lot of shiny new data technologies but poor staff on boarding of how to use it and what the metrics really mean, or even what business questions to ask before seeking the data. To solve this, we need to pair the automating of the media buying process with consultative on boarding and operational support.

The assessment from the advertiser should be ‘what is the value gain from engaging with this platform partner versus the additional charge for partaking in it’.  It should always be a net positive experience.

Typically you should be able to pay around 10-20% service charges and experience plus 30% ROI media gains, and that’s before you’ve factored in the extra resource on your business, the domain expertise and knowledge gain, the additional features, the additional data, and many more gains.

Our advice? Choose your partners wisely and ensure that there is transparency between the buy and sell side.

5. Where does AdParlor fit in to all this and what value do you add?

With an API in to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and You Tube, we provide access to what accounts for around 70% of a typical digital media buy.

Our technology layer on top of these publishers – when coupled with our local teams providing domain, strategic and operational expertise – allow us to give advertisers huge value in return for their advertising dollars as well as transparent commercial relationships and dashboards for learning, reporting and insight.

Clearly with Facebook and YouTube in one platform, we are well geared to provide market beating video ad schedules that cut across the social video space and do it in a way that is unique to us through our proprietary technologies.

We’re also very good at using third party data sources for additional layers of targeting and have many exciting developments in this space to bring to market over the next year.

With 140 people in 9 markets and plans to add 80 more and additional markets over the next 12 months, we’re looking forward to bringing world class social and video campaigns with cutting edge targeting and functionality to more and more advertisers in the APAC region.

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