By Jeanine Poggi. Published by Ad Age on 13 October 2020.

According to new research from Magna and IPG Media Lab, personalized ads based on major life events perform best

Brands should think more about personalizing ads based on major life events in an effort to drive better consumer connections, according to a new study from Magna and IPG Media Lab.

Personalized brand messages are increasingly important for marketers trying to reach consumers in a cluttered landscape, and those that are based on major life events strike an emotional chord with people. Those who saw an ad with these types of personalized messages were 16% more likely to want to hear more from a brand and 12% more likely to purchase the brands when compared to the same video ad without a personalized message, according to the study.

Similarly, personalizing ads based on search terms drove an 8% preference for the advertised brand over competitors.

The same pre-roll video ad can drive a 5% higher purchase intent when it is used with more relevant and personalized messaging, according to the study.

The study included responses from over 6,600 participants from the auto, retail and finance industries. Testing was conducted using each brand’s demographic target, as well as high-value audiences, which use people-based IDs for brand-identified targeting personas created by Kinesso.

“Relevance is a critical part of brand marketing strategy because people today are inundated with content on a daily basis and it can be overwhelming,” said Kara Manatt, senior VP, group director, Intelligence Solutions at Magna Global, in a statement. “Personalized messaging can not only help create more relevant ads, but also help amplify brand stories, forging stronger, more solid personal connections.”

While utilizing precision targeting of high-value audiences is effective, these consumers are typically critical of mass-market messages, and are much more open to personalized ads.

Of course, personalization doesn’t guarantee branding. The performance of a personalized ad is amplified when branding is incorporated into the messaging, making them 8% more memorable than standard ads. The same best creative practices should be applied when planning for personalization.

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