PHD UK’s head of planning, Mike Florence and head of futures, Simon Harwood, took to the stage at BAFTA this week to present at AdWeek Europe on the dos and don’ts of personalisation.

Joined on stage by comedian Dave Gorman in a seminar entitled “Just because you can…”, Dave warned marketers that over-personalised ads run the risk of intrusively overstepping the mark.  “There are lots of ways in which the digital world does things that you wouldn’t accept face-to-face,” Dave said.  He gave an example of his recent experience of ordering a pizza online. When he went to the check-out section of the site, a batch of cookies costing 99p had automatically been added to his cart.  “You would not accept that in the real world,” he said. “Like it’s OK. It’s not f*cking OK. It’s a great example of doing things just because you can.”

Mike and Simon went on to present findings from recent research commissioned by PHD UK which looked into how far is too far when it comes to personalised ads.  The subsequent “7 Rules of Personalisation” that have emerged from the data are as follows;

1. Make a confident, direct approach – ensure your audience recognises what you’re saying
2. Always be useful – if you can’t help, then walk away
3. Context matters to the power of three – the medium is really important
4. Is your audience under 35? It if is, personalise. They are 44% more likely than over 35s to respond positively. But get it wrong at your peril
5. Always ensure there’s a human involved
6. Take time to set boundaries.
7. Give yourself time out before send-out.

You can watch a video of the session on AdWeek’s website here.   You can read more on Marketing here.