Recently, Adobe and a digital artist collaborated at a downtown bus stop to Photoshop unsuspecting pedestrians during “Adobe Creative Day.” The digital artist snapped photos of people sitting at the bus stop and quickly distorted, added backgrounds and played around with the image. The pedestrians could see his work live on a large screen that replaced the banner ad on the bus stop wall next to them.
As amusing as this stunt is, it is also interesting to note the power of advertising directed towards a single person. Seeing your own name, image or even features about yourself commented on (i.e. a hair commercial “Calling all blondes!”) is a powerful attention-grabber. Here are a couple of economical ways ecommerce companies can direct their advertising towards a single person:
- Subject lines containing the receiver’s name (“Hello, Jim. Check out new shoes!”) have a higher open rate than mass subject lines. Your ESP can drop in each receiver’s name for a more personal feel.
- Segmented email lists based on location, event, and category of purchase are better suited to pitch relevant sales. Make sure you know what promotion or location the emails are coming from (a recent nutrition seminar?) You can use this information for future events (Don’t miss next week’s conference!).
- Social networks are highly desirable advertising venues because they provide access to viewers’ interests and hobbies. It also allows you to promote things their friends have “liked,” which serves as a trusted recommendation.
- Retargeting is aimed at people who visit the site so they have already “stated” their intent to buy. Gentle reminders and offers from familiar sites are powerful ways to increase conversion.
Although these techniques are profitable when the advertiser’s intentions and methods are transparent, be mindful of using too much personal information. Some customers may feel their privacy is being abused. Does advertising with a consumer’s image have a place in the future of ecommerce marketing? Maybe, but it will have to demonstrate there is no collection of unauthorized personal information.