Do Consumers Love or Hate Personalized Messaging?

Do consumers love or hate personalized messaging

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You log into your laptop and type in the name of the car make and model you are interested in buying. When you log into Facebook five minutes later, an ad for that exact make and model pops up in the right rail. You look down at your phone at a stoplight on the way to work, and an ad for a nearby car dealership with a picture of that car appears on your lockscreen. It seems that the single search term you typed in is following you, adding more context and personalized information along the way.

Once the stuff of science fiction movies, this real-time ad targeting based on search history, location and other online behavior is now a reality. Is it creepy? Maybe a little. But growing research points to an interesting statistic: Consumers like personalized, hyper-targeted ad messaging from brands that they trust.

A recent study from IPG Media and Yahoo of 5,000 mobile users found that the majority of respondents appreciated location-based ad targeting, as well as ad suggestions based on search history and life events. The study also found that the smaller the mobile device, the higher the user expectation for customized information. For example, a user riding public transportation and searching for a restaurant expects his or her smartphone to identify location and deliver answers that make sense in that context. Basically, needing to Google a location term is now viewed as an annoyance.

Though consumers seem to be gradually embracing personalized content that benefits themselves, the study also found that mobile users were turned off by being given information on what their friends liked, visited or were doing at a given moment. Feasibly the negativity there stems from people not wanting the same information to be shared about themselves without permission.

These findings are important, even for businesses that do not use mobile or device tracking in their promotions. They point to a more intuitive approach to reaching consumers that is gaining popularity and will forever change the way we do business. Consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to doing less work to track down what they need, which puts the burden of visibility even more firmly on the shoulders of the sellers. This may sound overwhelming but can be accomplished through a few simple tasks, including:

Consumer buying habits will continue to evolve with technology, but there’s no reason to get left behind. By understanding these behavior changes, and sticking to tried-and-true customer service and promotional tactics, consumers will keep coming back.

Back to the Basics: Building a New business


Building a New Business

Building a new business or brand requires more than the ability to produce and deliver high-quality products or services. Understanding how to succeed when launching an strategy is essential regardless of the type of business you are running and the audience you need to reach.

Utilizing marketing online is a way to ensure you are making your mark whether you are offering local services or selling products internationally around the world.

Determine Your Demographic

Determine the demographic of the audience you want to reach. The more you are able to pinpoint the age, gender and location of the users you want to appeal to most the easier it becomes to generate the right advertisements and marketing strategies online.

Build an Online Presence for Your Brand

Building an online presence for your brand is essential when launching new advertising campaigns on various websites, blogs and online communities. Creating an online presence for your own business and brand is possible with a modern logo, color scheme and mobile-friendly website that is accessible to all users without hassle. Generating a voice for your brand is also highly advisable, especially when trying to separate yourself within the market and from potential competition.

Create a Blog

Creating and launching a blog on your brand’s official website is a way to connect and communicate with those who have taken a genuine interest in your business. Having a blog provides you with an additional platform to share news, information and to ask questions or for advice from those who visit your website most frequently. Consistent updating is a key factor in building a loyal fan base and growing the overall popularity of your brand.

Communicate Directly With Followers and Consumers

Any time you are marketing online or with the use of social media it is essential to communicate directly with those who are interested in your brand. Spending time communicating with followers and potential consumers is not only a way for you to build clout but it is also a way to generate more buzz about your brand altogether.

The more you know about marketing and advertising online the easier it is to reach and appeal to any audience or demographic you have in mind. Taking the time to communicate and connect with those you are targeting with your marketing gives you more leeway when attempting to keep potential customers and clients from seeking their own solution from a competitor in the same industry.

How to Deal with Negativity on Your Blog (and the Internet)


How to Deal with Negativity on your Blog

Any seasoned blogger or social media marketer will be able to tell you war stories about awful comments, negative feedback, or surprising responses they’ve gotten to content that they have published. Unfortunately, negativity and the Internet seem to go hand in hand. As a blogger, you’ll often get positive responses to your writing, and people will tell you that your writing has inspired them or given them great advice. The same rings true for social media marketers. However, we need to be prepared to deal with the negative comments as well.

Bloggers, celebrities, and everyday people alike have made the news when they’ve decided to quit blogging or participating on social media due to cruelty. Not long ago, Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late Robin Williams, shut down her Twitter account because of a group of people who were tormenting her about her father.

It seems like people sometimes see other humans on the Internet as less than human. Sometimes, we don’t put a face with an online account and don’t feel the need to use common human decency towards others.

Here are a few ways to deal with comments or interactions that are less than desirable on your blog (or otherwise):

Moderate Your Comments

Many blogs and business social media pages allow people to comment freely. However, one rude comment can spiral into a whole thread of negativity. Nip that in the bud by not publishing these comments or by addressing the criticism. This is not to say that you should delete comments that simply disagree with your point of view. A friendly debate isn’t a bad thing.

Have People Sign In to Comment

From what I see, it seems that people are less likely to spew hateful comments when these comments are tied to their name or account. While this isn’t a foolproof strategy, it may cut down on negativity.

Have a Comment Policy

By setting clear boundaries, this spells out what types of comments are deemed appropriate on your blog. This allows you to deal with any comments including spam, racist language, offensive language, off-topic comments, graphics, personal information, or comments containing links just to name a few.

Post Things that are Relevant to Your Industry

Resist the urge to post on your blog or social media page as social commentary on news stories or cultural happenings unless they are directly related to your brand. If you are running a business blog in particular, I find that keeping your voice neutral when it comes to politics or religion can help to keep negative comments to a minimum.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.