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Why You Should Ditch Your Ad Spend for Personalized Experiences

People are bombarded with thousands of messages each day. As anyone who’s gearing up for a football season can attest, the frequency with which an individual sees the same ad, particularly for big brands, is staggering. Even in the digital scenario, increasingly, you’re also getting the same banner ad in your mobile browser for a hotel you visited and never booked – and probably never will.

Information Overload
The reality is that we receive the equivalent of nine DVDs worth of data per person each day. That’s equal to 6.9 million gigabytes. At the same time, buyers have much more control over the information they consume:

  • 86% of people skip TV ads,
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened
  • 84% of 25-to-34-year olds have left a website because of intrusive advertising

          -Mashable, Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Now consider what the average buyer is more likely to do than click on a banner ad:

  • Surviving a plane crash (475.28 times more likely)
  • Climbing Mount Everest (279.64x)
  • Signing up for, and completing Navy SEAL training (112.50x)
  • Applying to, and getting into Harvard (87.80x)

Despite these daunting statistics, according to the CMO Council, marketers are expected to spend $540 billion globally on advertising in 2015.

A Better Way to Engage Customers

Instead of making ads, marketers should focus on creating personalized experiences that demonstrate brand value to their customers.

What is a “personalized experience”? Instead of telling you, allow me to show you. Here are some examples that demonstrate brand value through creative, personalized experiences.

Brother Moto – a DIY garage for moto-curious located here in Atlanta – makes its profit through a very interesting and innovative business model. This DIY garage provides the necessary tools, environment and knowledge for their “members” to customize, experiment and repair their motorbikes themselves. With thousands of members, events, gear store and a coffee shop, Brother Moto connects with their customers through an engaging community, a powerful way to remain top of mind with their customers by allowing their story to be told in a creative way by the customers themselves.

Rubber Tracks from Converse – a community of professional recording studios – shows its support for artists by allowing musicians of any genre to apply for free studio time and, if selected, record at no cost and still keep the rights to their own music. In return, Converse generates word of mouth, differentiates themselves and gets far more brand loyalty than competitors who only spend in paid media.

Another good example on how to engage the customer with the brand by creating a personalized experience is the Nike Training Club – a free functional training app. The app helps customers to set their goals towards a healthier lifestyle. Nike becomes part of their customers’ day-to-day activities, while gaining brand awareness and preference.

Habitat for Humanity – a nonprofit housing organization – is also a great example. Instead of focusing on advertising for fundraising, the organization engages their audience by creating a lifetime experience. People get involved in several volunteer programs and start advocating for the brand, expanding Habitat’s reach.

I could go on and on listing numerous examples on how brands can engage their customers by creating personalized experiences and empowering their customers to accomplish specific goals, which relate with what the brand stands for. The big idea is to create something that engages the customer in a way that sets you apart from the pack, telling your story in a compelling way, with simplicity, clarity and alignment. Check out “Take a Stand For Your Brand,” an article I wrote on this subject a few years ago.

The next step is to calculate Return-On-Media-Investment [ROMI]. RIGHTspend Model™ and RIGHTmix Manager™ are tools for today’s marketers who are looking for a simplified way to calculate ROMI and optimize marketing plans to maximize revenue and profits.

To be clear, at TopRight we don’t see media as an all-out waste. We just think it’s a giant mistake to over invest in media. It’s time media agencies helped clients adjust their models. You simply don’t need to buy as much to reach as many of the RIGHT people — and for marketers, that’s great news and clear guidance for how to #MoveTopRight.


Photo credit: Daniel Oines

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