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Hyper Personalisation - Don't get left behind in 2018.

With voice search on the rise, we’ve added an audio version of this article. Just press play above. 

If I had a pound for every time I heard the phrase ‘right content, right audience, right time’, I’d have ditched this advertising gig a long time ago and swanned off to see out the rest of my days in the Bahamas. This marketing mantra is bandied about so often, it risks belying the true scale and enormity of what it all actually means. In short, the unholy alliance of programmatic media and artificial intelligence could spell the end of mass advertising, replacing a one size fits all campaign with brand experiences that our hyper personalisation centric.

It starts with programmatic media.

Ever since programmatic media helped us remove some of the guesswork in media buying, first and third party data, real-time buying and dynamic creative have helped us create ever more relevant brand experiences for our consumers. Take one of our recent campaigns for Just Eat. Working hand in hand with our media partners, we created a mobile campaign that updated in real-time depending on the target consumer’s location, the time of day, topical events, weather conditions and food preferences, serving up consumers with only the most relevant creative to satiate their hunger pangs. Right content. Right audience. Right time. (Yep again, sorry).

What excites us is that these opportunities for hyper personalisation are no longer restricted to pure-play online environments. Last year marked the first year programmatic buying hit the mainstream in digital out of home media. To give you an example of what the (very near) future looks like, I’d like to take you mentally to a digital 6 sheet near our office. The bus stop is next door to law courts, university halls, a secondary school and a series of other offices. Until 8.45am, the majority of traffic passing the stop are suited and booted lawyers. From 8.45am to 3.30pm, the students roll out of bed and onto the bus to peg to and from lectures. At 3.30pm students at a local senior school pile out and cram onto the buses. From 5pm onwards, the commuters start to head home. This 6 sheet soon enough will be rigged to use mobile phone data to identify these different audiences. This will mean that the unit will change dynamically to serve the most relevant advertising to whoever happens to pass the unit. The early morning lawyers may see adverts for the London Law Expo. The secondary school girls will be served ads for Benefit Cosmetics. Deliveroo will target the weary evening commuters. Content will be tailored by specific locations, weather conditions and even mobile behaviours, including past social media brand interactions.

And it’s not just OOH. 80% of digital radio is consumed on mobile devices, which represents huge opportunities for programmatic radio buying. There is a wealth of data stored in your device and apps that us advertisers are dying to tap into. Here at Five by Five we’ve been partnering with Million Ads to create dynamic radio advertising, the content of which can change depending on who you are, where you are, time of day, what you’re doing, what you’re listening to, what you’re interested in, what device you’re using, what the weather’s like, ultimately delivering a much more relevant and personalised message through a very engaging, intimate medium.

Throw in some artificial intelligence.

As incredible as the options are through programmatic advertising, leveraging that data only takes us so far. Sure we can get our mitts on our target consumer’s location, preferences and mood and we can do our best with gigantic dynamic sheets to deliver adverts to suit those variables, but that’s only scratching the surface. After all, a copywriter can only create so many different lines to suit different audience needs. To take things further, we need to throw some artificial intelligence into the creative process.

Artificial intelligence (or AI) uses computers to perform tasks that normally would require a human brain, such as speech recognition, language translation, decision-making and visual perception. We’re already seeing artificial intelligence take on the role of graphic designer and copywriter. In the not too distant future artificial intelligence could be key for advertising agencies, helping us maximise the power of programmatic by creating thousands of different messaging iterations for specific personalities, preferences and emotional states in real-time. Think a copywriter on hyper-drive.

What does hyper personalisation mean for brand launches?

For nascent brands of all shapes and sizes, the implications of hyper personalisation are huge. Valuable media budgets can be apportioned to only reach your most valuable audience groups with laser precision. With programmatic media hitting the mainstream IRL as well as online, this opens up new advertising channels for your brand.

Say you’re a burgeoning litigation funding company. There’s obviously little point you parting money on a paper and paste billboard for two weeks or shelling out on Heart airtime, but now you can target legal decision-makers in key areas at specific times of the day in digital OOH or via digital radio advertising. You can tailor that creative to maximise its relevance for your target legal decision-makers based on their location, litigation needs and behaviours. Or say you’re an emerging online music gig discovery platform. Again, you can target a young 18-24 year old audience only in the key locations and at key times, tailoring creative to accommodate different gig preferences and proximity to venues.


Hyper personalisation is not going to go away. If anything, it is going to continue growing exponentially in the foreseeable future. It allows for brands to be much more targeted in their approach and economical with their budgets. Furthermore, consumers are getting used to personalisation that if your brand does not align with this trend then it will undoubtedly be left behind.

All of this sound a bit much? Fear not. Get in touch and we can walk you through the wonders of dynamic creative, some fabulously smart things we’re doing with B&Q in dynamic DOOH and digital radio and a few thought starters on artificial intelligence. Get in touch!

Image Credits
  • Shutterstock

By Harriet Nicholson
Senior Strategy Planner, UK

Let’s launch something together. Get in touch.