Dynamic Content Marketing – Without Being a Creep

Content Marketing


As a practitioner of marketing automation, I am constantly judging and silently grading any content marketing efforts targeted towards myself as a consumer. Marketing automation tools like Marketo continue to bring the ability to customize content dynamically and tailor it to every lead.

Recently, I received a Direct Mail piece and an email within a one week period from an online pet products retailer that I had purchased from. Grade: Thumbs up marketer for hitting me with cross channel tactics!

Given my previous purchases, I knew they had specific data on me and my dog, including his breed, size, and age. The direct mail piece and the email were both personalized and addressed to me by my name and even referenced my dog’s name, Ziggy. Grade: Thumbs up marketer for personalizing the intro header and copy to me!

They also personalized the image to feature a woman holding a small dog. Grade: Thumbs up marketer for visual personalization! I said to myself, that woman and dog are just like me!

Tragically, the execution went downhill from there – and fast. The CTA (Call to Action) on the piece was written from my dog’s perspective and said “Help me Live Longer, Love Ziggy” and “Can you help me walk like a pup again?.” Grade: Thumbs down marketer! Reminding me of the mortality of my dog is probably the creepiest use of customer data and dynamic content copy I’ve ever come across.  It was a shame because besides that, it was a well designed campaign that had me hooked and interested.

As marketers, we continue to have more and more data about our prospects and customers in addition to sophisticated tools that allow us to to tailor our content marketing with the needs and interests of our audience. Dynamic content should make your audience more compelled to read the content. The right execution of dynamic content can vault your email campaign beyond a generic blast that gets deleted immediately. However, it must also stop short from becoming a cringe inducing use of personalization like the example above. Find that sweet spot and engagement with prospects is sure to increase.

Fellow marketers, with great customization capabilities comes great power.  So don’t be a creep!