Will the Real Personalized URL Please Stand Up? by ProQuest


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creative connection
               By Heidi Tolliver Nigro

 Will the Real Personalized URL
        Please Stand Up?
                                          tors might be sent to this page from

      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
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

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

                                                                      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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