In the 1960s, the Alka Seltzer marketing team had a familiar challenge — how to double sales and rejuvenate their brand. With the help of their agency Tinker & Partners, they released a series of ads. One of the ads simply promoted using two Alka Seltzer tablets instead of one, which later became memorialized in the famous jingle, “Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is!”

The result? It worked. The campaign and the effort to get each existing user to consume twice as much led to nearly double sales.

There’s an obvious lesson here for media companies: While most focus on expanding their audience, the fastest way to double in size may be to get your existing audience to consume twice as much, thus increasing viewership.

But aside from a clever jingle, how do you actually pull this off and get your visitors to spend twice the time on your site? The answer is simple —with personalization.

Double the consumption

Fortunately times have changed since the 1960s, and technology is on the side of the consumer. While you already track every action that every visitor takes on your site, this ‘Big Data’ with enormous potential becomes ‘Dumb Data’ siloed in databased and used only for reporting. Personalized recommendations eliminate this predicament, by tapping into that data in real time and proactively driving real, immediate results in the form of more views (and in turn ad impressions).

As each individual consumes content, we learn their likes, dislikes, interests and behaviors, which in turn allows us offer organic, onsite and in-app recommendations for continued viewing. These recommendations can take the form of modules, subtle overlays, or even dynamically taking over the primary site real estate. Alka Seltzer may have doubled their product, but with recommendations the consumption is potentially endless lending itself to an exceptional content experience.

Double the return 

Doubling consumption doesn’t stop there – encouraging consumers to come back more and often is the other piece of the puzzle. In the case of Alka Seltzer in the 1960s, they stocked their product where their new clientele was hanging out — magazine stands, fast food restaurants, and powder rooms.

The analogy holds for the digital era, but now you can reach consumers directly on their mobile phones or in their inbox. But rather than send a generic “one to many” marketing message, your users can receive to personalized notifications, including recommendations for what they’re most likely to want to watch, at the time they’re most likely to watch.

Although “Personalization” has been an internet buzz word for at least a decade, most media companies have failed to realize its promise, instead opting for a one-size-fits all approach to programming. If you’re looking for real growth in your numbers, it’s time for a new, headache-free approach to Personalization.

You may be just a plop and a fizz away from doubling consumption.

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