A Word of Advice: You Should Never Advertise a Mini-Van to a Guy Having a Midlife Crisis

Let me back it up a bit. About two weeks after Netscape 1.0 came out, I was assigned to the digital team at an Ad Agency on Madison Avenue. Like most of the world, once you’ve been introduced to digital, there’s no turning back. I’ve been thinking about the web ever since. And while I may have been in awe back then, I’m inspired more than ever when I think about today’s digital experience. It’s been a vision that Marketers and Technologists have promised for a long time.

The experience initially gave us Ad Networks Behavioral Targeting and Lookalike Modeling. Soon thereafter, DSPs and then DMPs came up with their own targeting and created “a better mousetrap” for online advertisers. These innovations were good, but they were never exact enough. They focused on media and ads and only dabbled with on-site optimization (which has had its own long road, and has been around for over ten years). Ultimately, these digital marketing platforms fell flat—they promised the Multi-Variant testing power of a Ferrari but acted more like a Fiat.

A Shift in the Landscape

But then around 2010, the digital environment started to change. The biggest innovation? Using the data that has been around since the age of web logs and analyzing them with better technology. It was not a new concept. It was always there but had just been very hard to reach as it requires big databases to power results. Some early companies, like X+1 and Optimizely, jumped in before the tech was ready and gave it a go. They were the first to try and bring more than a landing page to the user experience. Or rather, the first to eliminate the need for a team and 9 months of set-up to actually achieve your goals. This is the perfect example of how technology is not only a useful tool for companies that are sitting on millions of ROI potential, but also extremely accessible. What was once only reserved for clients of Unica, Epsilon and Teradata is now open to a wider audience.

Today’s Experience Marketing World

The systems of today can optimize the user experience with every visit. This shouldn’t be viewed as Big Brother or creepy, it’s actually the right thing to do if implemented correctly. Helping the user find information they need while guiding them to fully enjoy their user experience is the ultimate digital marketing achievement, right?

Brands can now build bonds with consumers faster because they are smart with their content – because they now have enough data to know that you don’t show a mini-van to the guy who’s having a midlife crisis, and they’re using that data to make that guy’s experience better.

The time is now for brands to go all-in on this full user experience. Those that do will lift their ROI on every device and save valuable media dollars. It’s so easy to buy traffic today, but if you don’t convert with the right message it’s a waste of your money and a waste of the consumer’s time. The right message should not only be on your landing page, it has to be on every page. And this doesn’t have to be overwhelming; it’s as simple as developing a great content strategy and letting it align with great technology to put the right content in front of the right person at the right time.

Create new content or just reuse the stuff you have in new ways. Push the content up and out with email, sms and off-site social channels. Brands have reams of content sitting in a queue and most don’t know what to do with it.

So, here’s the new plan: Get your data working, set up your technology and let it lead the way. This will enable you to harness the power of Experience Marketing, and the results will speak for themselves.

We are now in the Golden Age of digital. The Experience Marketing promise is here. Are you ready?

Interested in learning more about how we approach the many facets of customer experience at Delphic Digital? Join us on May 5th as we celebrate Philly Tech Week with an interactive panel on which Delphic’s Management Team will discuss the new age of customer experience marketing, the roles user experience design, analytics, and marketing automation play, and customer personalization hits and misses. Learn more and register on our Philly Tech Week Event page.


  • Geoff Graham

    A great read Lance, I agree with you. I believe that people are a lot happier now that marketing systems help them find the exact information/product they are looking for. User experience is crucial for leaving a lasting impression on a brand or a product.

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