The ability to deliver consistent and relevant experiences across channels is a major goal for marketers. One of the main reasons the customer data platform (CDP) has taken off in recent years is to better address this challenge. As a first step to delivering effective cross-channel personalization, marketers need the ability to recognize and understand a person across touchpoints.

One of the first areas where marketers have sought to create connections between channels and data sources is between their websites (“owned media”) and online advertising (“paid media”) channels. To dive into this topic, last week Evergage hosted a webinar entitled “The Value of Personalization in Paid and Owned Channels” presented by Ryan Tincknell (head of Data Strategy and Optimization at Ebiquity) and Matt Thompson (Senior Director of Partnerships at Evergage). In this blog post, I’ll describe the main ways to leverage the connection between your website and paid media channels, but you should watch the full webinar replay to hear Ryan and Matt’s insights on the topic.

Use website behaviors to inform advertising personalization

Regardless of the industry you’re in, you probably want to bring back visitors who have left your site before making a purchase, filling out a form, or performing any other meaningful action. Many marketers turn to retargeting — ads that are targeted to individuals based on their past website behavior — to accomplish this.

When leveraging retargeted ads, you don’t want to just hit everyone that landed on your site with the same generic ad. Use this opportunity to communicate something truly relevant based on how each visitor has interacted with your site and what you know or have learned about the person.

For example, a retail site could use its personalization and customer data platform to understand what a person’s behavior says about her favorite category. The solution can then pass that favorite category information to Google or any other adtech solution, and use it to deliver a relevant ad to that shopper. So if a shopper has spent the most time engaging with the shoe category, the retailer can deliver shoe-related ads to that person across the internet.

A B2B company could do something similar, but focus the message around the person’s stage of the funnel, as an example. The company could use behavioral data to create segments of visitors for each funnel stage and pass that segment membership info to its adtech tool. Then, those in early research stages can be shown ads that encourage them to return to download an introductory eBook, while those in later stages might see ads encouraging them to return to take a free trial or schedule a live demo.

By leveraging behavioral data and insights from your website, you can make your digital ads more targeted and relevant — increasing the chances that a bounced visitor will return.

Use ad source to inform website personalization

While most marketers are already familiar with the concept of using website data to inform advertising, don’t forget that you can also use data from your advertising channels to inform your website experiences in real time — while the visitor is still on your site.

The best way to leverage your advertising data on your website is to store the ad campaign that brought a visitor to your site in her customer profile (even if she is an anonymous visitor). With that information, you can deliver personalized campaigns on your site related to that specific campaign. For example, if a person arrived to your site from a paid search campaign focused on a specific topic, you can recommend different pieces of content focused on that topic across your website in that same visit.

You could also use this data as part of your analysis efforts to understand how visitors who came in through ads differ from visitors that arrived from other sources, or how visitors who arrived through different campaigns differ from each other. You can use that information to better understand the needs of these visitors and target your website experiences to those types of visitors in the future.  

Case study: bringing multiple data sources together

In the webinar, Ryan told a great story of a major airline that was able to bring multiple data sources together to achieve a more cost-effective advertising strategy.

The airline wanted to reduce spending on its retargeting ads, but it didn’t want to negatively affect conversions. In other words, it wanted to reach only the people that would be influenced to purchase a ticket with the ad — not those who were likely to make a purchase anyway.

To achieve this, the company worked with Ebiquity to sync its first-party customer loyalty data, behavioral data from its website and third-party media exposure data. With this data brought together, it could identify visitors who were already loyal customers of the airline who had previously abandoned the site — those who were highly likely to convert on their own without the reminders from the ads. It then opted not to retarget this loyal customer segment and focus solely on the rest of its website audience.

As a result, the airline significantly reduced media spend while keeping conversions constant.

Final Thoughts

When you can bring data from different sources together, you will have a better understanding of each individual that interacts with you across channels. You can use that understanding to deliver more relevant experiences in each channel — from your website to your paid media and back again.

Watch the webinar replay for Ryan and Matt’s tips on how to leverage personalization across channels, and request a demo today to learn how Evergage can help you develop and execute your own cross-channel personalization program.