Business case studies No 162 - 27.01.2017

Radio: getting personal

This week’s egtabite looks at personalised digital advertising, sometimes referred to as programmatic creative, a form of advertising that harnesses rich and varied datasets to serve individualised messages to consumers.

Personalised advertising is becoming increasingly commonplace in digital display advertising, and the first online video ads to feature personalisation started to be deployed in 2014. Now, the same advantages of reaching the right consumer at the right time and place with the most content-appropriate message are available for digital audio for the first time.

This issue is explored in egta’s forthcoming publication: Making data work for radio, which will be available on egta's website as of 2 February.

Why personalise?

Tailoring the message specifically to consumers using a range of different types and sources of data has been shown to deliver significantly better advertising engagement outcomes. Retargeting, as used widely by e-commerce, travel and hotel booking sites and others to remind visitors about products they have searched for at a later time or on another device, has been one of the most common ways to personalise digital ads over the past couple of years, and it is particularly effective in increasing the probability of conversion for consumers with a high intent to purchase specific goods or services.

Instead of retargeting the same message repeatedly, this technology can also be used for sequential content retargeting, delivering a series of adapted messages to follow the consumer through each stage of the purchase funnel, for example.

However, this type of personalisation is relatively challenging to implement and manage compared to the use of triggers such as time, demography, weather or geography. In a recent study, the data-driven marketing company Jivox quantified the positive impact of personalisation, making the following headline findings:

- Personalised ads outperform rich media by 84% (1.8x) on Interaction Rate
- Personalised ads outperform rich media by 230% (3.3x) on Click-Through Rate
- Personalised ads outperform rich media by 28% (1.3x) on Average Dwell Time

Bringing personalised ads to online radio

One example of how personalisation can be used in audio ads is the pioneering work of A Million Ads. The company has developed a platform that can harness data to dynamically personalise different elements within an audio spot, based on information about the user themselves (name, age, gender, language, device type), environmental data (day, time, location, weather, message sequence), publisher and advertiser data (deals, offers, dynamic prices, betting odds, behaviour, user segments) or by overlaying third party data (traffic, UV and pollen levels, events).

In many ways, our technology is simply enabling advertisers to communicate the way humans do instinctively,” Sam Crowther Head of Creative Development at A Million Ads explains to egta. “We reference relevant information in every conversation we’ve ever had, so it makes sense for brands to do the same.

At a relatively simple level, the creative can be tailored to the time and day of the week or other external data parameters. For example, individual listeners’ location data was used in the first dynamic creative campaign for The National Lottery in the UK. A Millions Ads enabled the message to thank people for playing and referenced the number of good causes that had been supported in their city, region and/or nationally.

Where the user’s gender is known, this can be used to tailor the message for female and male listeners respectively. A campaign run on Bauer Media’s InStream service for the magazine subscription service Readly, for example, involved a female voiceover saying “Not sure what to get him for Christmas?” with corresponding popular male magazines showcased, while a second almost identical script had a male voice saying “Not sure what to get her for Christmas?” with popular female magazines.

This was the first campaign I created using data to dictate the creative just before I joined A Million Ads. It wasn’t dynamic but the success in response rates convinced me this was the future,” notes Sam.

At a more sophisticated level, DMP data can be used to deliver different creative to particular audiences based on interest, such as to ‘Music lover’, ‘Fashionista’ or ‘Car driver’ segments. It can also ensure the ad’s music genre or tempo fits the listening habits of the listener to help build affinity towards a brand. Cross referencing if someone is already a customer of a service or not to determine if a sales or loyalty message is delivered, would also benefit advertisers.

Why this matters for egta members

Dynamic creative and personalisation are being used to dramatically increase the effectiveness of digital advertising, and while these developments are more commonly seen in display ads, there is no reason that digital audio cannot also get into the game.

Digital audio is already a highly intimate form of online advertising, with low avoidance, minimal ad fraud and near immunity from ad blocking. Audio sellers now have a powerful new way to further differentiate their product and tailor advertising for their audiences, ensuring that the right listener hears precisely the right message at the right time and in the right place.

The future’s bright – the future’s audio!



» A million Ads website (click here)


» Download in PDF (click here)


» Market Intelligence Meeting (TV & Radio)
02.02.2017, Rome
Programme TV | Radio
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08.02.2017, Brussels
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27. - 28.04, Brussels

» CEO & Top Executives' Summit (TV & Radio)
08. - 09.06.2017, Stockholm
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» Online Audio Monetisation Training
29. - 30.06.2017, Brussels

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05.10.2017, Dublin
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