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Is Programmatic Personalization Living Up to the Hype?

| March 27, 2024 | By

For the past few years, programmatic personalization has been in the spotlight. It’s an approach that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to craft ads tailored to individual user preferences and behaviors.

In other words, it can be hypertargeted, ultraefficient, and, ultimately, astoundingly effective.

But here’s the thing: Is it really all of that in practice?


Programmatic Media and Personalization Make Every Dollar Count

The digital ad space is witnessing a significant uptick in spending. 

There are several reasons why this is the case. Advances in mobile technology, the efficiency of programmatic buying, and the incredible popularity of video content all play a role. 

Companies are also starting to recognize how effective personalization and sharp targeting can be in any channel, including programmatic, social, and video. The capabilities of both AI and machine learning to mine deep insights from customer data and then help creative teams use that data to craft ads (and marketing assets, and more) that resonate profoundly on a granular level is something that people want to tap into. 

Why? Because personalization is driving ROI.

Benefiting from Real-Time Personalization in Programmatic Media

Real-time personalization within programmatic media can help make tailored user experiences more impactful—but you’ve got to use it well. Doing so requires:

  • Activating your customer data: Businesses have gold mines of consumer datasets that can fuel dynamic personalization and content relevance, but everyone in your organization needs access to it
  • Leveraging the right technology: Chances are, your adtech or martech stacks are full of applications and software tools you don’t use. Figuring out how to streamline your tool kit down to the right powerhouses and use them well together can help you truly unlock the benefits of programmatic personalization. 
  • Concentrating on strong creative: Personalization can boost relevance, which should catch your customer’s eye. (Getting served a video ad that has a segment swapped in featuring something you just favorited always feels pointedly prescient, doesn’t it?) However, personalization is just one part of the programmatic media puzzle.

It allows advertisers to leverage real-time bidding and cross-channel coordination as well to ensure that ads are not only highly personalized but also delivered at the optimal moment and place for maximum impact. 

That said, you need to make sure that you have strong ad concepts, too, so that when the right person sees the right product at the right time, you’re delivering messaging and creative that help boost connection and prompt instant action.  

This requires rigorous and continuous creative thinking, iteration, and constant experimentation. 

Creative Experimentation Is The Key to Personalization's Effectiveness

While some aspects of programmatic buying allow you to set your parameters and concentrate your efforts elsewhere, delivering stellar programmatic personalization is far from a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. 

Rather, adopting a mindset of consistent iteration is key. 

After all, creative experimentation will help you: 

  • Enhance engagement with your target audience. You can test various ad elements and assets to see what truly resonates with your ideal customers. 
  • Increase the relevance of your creative approach to each segment of your audience. You can continually tweak assets to ensure that the ads you deliver are crafted expressly for each viewing individual. 
  • Learn more about your audience’s preferences and behaviors, and get data that can inform both future creative strategies and broader marketing efforts. 
  • Adapt to changing consumer behaviors to ensure your personalization efforts keep pace and help you maintain the evergreen effectiveness of your programmatic advertising. 

With the proper focus on taking new approaches until you find something that truly works, programmatic personalization can absolutely live up to the hype.

Yet it’s not a perfect, no-fault solution. Even well-done programmatic personalization has its limits.


Navigating the Limitations of Programmatic Media Personalization

The effectiveness of high-quality personalization relies on an in-depth understanding of user behavior and demographics and the effective use of a wide range of data sources. 

In short, personalization—whether you use it for programmatic display, video, social, or any other channel—is neither a simple nor a stand-alone solution. If you’re interested in getting started with a high-quality approach to personalization, it’s time to consider varied strategies. They include: 

  • Integrating cross-channel data to get a comprehensive view of each customer
  • Making sure that everyone in your organization has access to that data and that you have open conversations about it so you can all operate from the same starting point
  • Leveraging AI, automation, and machine learning to free up your team from managing endless repetitive tasks so they can focus more on standout creative
  • Segmenting your audience thoughtfully so you can deliver ultratailored, personalized content 
  • Pulling together a testing and optimization plan up front so you can build the ability to experiment and pivot into your processes from the very beginning 


Are You Ready to Maximize Your Advertising ROI with Programmatic Personalization?

Programmatic media personalization can be a powerful addition to your advertising tool kit, but you need to take a comprehensive approach to unlock all of its benefits. If you’re interested in overcoming the challenges that may stand between you and maximizing your advertising ROI, know that Innervate can help, starting with creative automation strategies to help you free up more time in your day and allow world-class personalization at scale.


Click to read the guide, "Transform your CX with the power of AI."


Infographic: 4 Solutions for Overcoming Your CX Challenges