I recently drove by a billboard addressed to a “Guy-Stuck-n-Traffic,” which stayed with me for all the wrong reasons. The message aimed to build a deeper connection with passersby, but it missed its mark — I wasn’t stuck in traffic at all. As I zoomed by, it occurred to me that, though the pressure to personalize marketing is increasing across all channels, marketers are missing a roadmap for success.

For a long time, personalization was the domain of digital while TV, radio and outdoor ads continued to speak to broader audiences. But today’s constantly connected audiences and the increase in clutter have made it really difficult to capture consumer attention. As mass marketing messages fail to make an impact, it’s no surprise that traditional marketers are enticed by personalization. It’s a promising path — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get right.

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