This is a bit of a head-scratcher for me. By definition, personalized URLs are unique URLs pre-generated for each recipient, whether in print or in email. These URLs take recipients to corresponding pregenerated Internet landing pages that can be personalized with the recipients' names, demographic information, or anything else that might exist in the marketer's database.
9 creative connection By Heidi Tolliver Nigro Will the Real Personalized URL Please Stand Up? tors might be sent to this page from D o you think personalized URLs are the hottest things in market- a static medium, such as billboard, ing? The answer probably de- print advertisement, or point-of-sale pends on whether you are a creative, display, and once there, they might a marketer, or a print provider. I’ve choose to input their name, interests, spent quite a bit of time over the last or other demographic information few months in the social media chan- so that subsequent pages can be nels, taking the pulse on personal- personalized to them. ized URLs from different segments. It’s been fascinating to see just how These are not personalized URLs, differently these applications are per- however, since the URL itself is ceived on different sides of the fence. generic. They are sites that are user-personalizable. What’s also interesting is the number of misperceptions about A similar application is to include a personalized URLs floating around. data acquisition form to gather per- In this column, I’d like to address sonal and demographic information a specific misperception that I’ve on site visitors that can be collected been seeing a lot lately. This is the and used for targeting later. mis-use of the term “personalized URL” itself, which is creating a lot Another mis-use of the term “person- of confusion and misinformation. alized URL” seems to be for response tracking. Marketers may be using the PURLs on Billboards? term “personalized URL,” but they are One of the pieces of conventional really creating multiple landing pages wisdom circulating out there is that for tracking different media and mes- personalized URLs can be printed on sages within the same campaign. billboards, point-of-sale materials, They might be creating separate print advertisements, and other static landing pages, say, for a television media, as well as direct mail. ad, a billboard, and point-of-sale materials—and each medium might This is a bit of a head-scratcher have multiple landing pages for dif- for me. By definition, personalized ferent geographic locations, different URLs are unique URLs pre-gener- messages, or to test other elements ated for each recipient, whether in of a campaign. But these are tracking print or in email. These URLs take URLs, not personalized URLs. recipients to corresponding pre- generated Internet landing pages Why Pay the Premium? that can be personalized with the The option to personalize website recipients’ names, demographic content and gather visitor informa- information, or anything else that tion through data-acquisition forms might exist in the marketer’s da- from generic landing pages seems tabase. These mini-sites generally to be particularly compelling to have a four-page structure: landing marketers. Why spend the premium www.printingnews.com page, survey page, information page and per-click charge for personalized (which may or may not be personal- URLs when you can use a broadcast ized based on information gathered medium like banner ads, direct mail, on the survey page), and thank you or newspaper ads to drive traffic to a page. It’s a self-contained architec- website, where the same information ture unique to these applications. can be collected? These mini-sites cannot be created The answer is, it depends on your from static URLs. Technically, it might marketing goals. be possible to create something simi- PRINTING NEWS, MONDAY, April 6, 2009 lar based on the visitor’s IP address Personalized URLs are not a broad- once he or she lands on the specified cast medium. Nor, for the most part, Web page, but that’s certainly not rec- are they designed to be driven by a ommended for a variety of marketing detailed customer or prospect data- reasons, not to mention ethical ones. base. Rather, they enable marketers to begin a dialog with a well-defined What some marketers have called target audience. Often, this audience “personalized URLs” are really sites is their own customer base or a pros- that are personalized for the recipi- pect base that mirrors their existing ent based on information input by the or desired customer profile. The goal recipients themselves once they’ve of the campaign may not be to sell landed on the designated page. Visi- continued on page 10 10 FEATURE Does Your Company’s Planning Have Strategic Intelligence? By Ron Price 1. Deliberately identify and discuss who reflect the values that are most you maintain a current and relevant In the realm of personal develop- the issues that are going to have the important to the company. Political strategic intelligence. ment, it is widely accepted that people greatest impact on your future busi- accommodation is never a good have emotional intelligence, which ness performance. reason to include somebody in the Your Strategic Intelligence is defined as a balance between self- You need to understand the organiza- development of strategic intelligence. Determines Your Future awareness and social awareness. tion at many different levels. Ask your- Ultimately
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