Digital advertising personalisation and consumer journey optimisation|Consumers’ decision-making profiles are key to more clicks, quality leads, conversion.


It may be the best or worst kept secret within the digital advertising industry, but if you can assess the decision-making profile of your audience, your ads can prompt more action (cliks, quality leads), and/or your website can trigger more conversion.

This is not a discussion about the quality or the relevance of the ad: most ads’ creatives are being thoroughly tested, with A/B testing, Multi-Variate Testing (MVT); or they are created on the spot with Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO). Chances are that you are using solutions to analyse the breadth and depth of website visitor’s data, to understand what they are (currently) interested in, what their persona is, and to which segment they belong. With the view to target and retarget with personalised and relevant content and ads.

However, whatever the sophistication of these tools, stats show the limited impact of ads (e.g., CTR) or conversion rates. We are sharing below a different approach about hyper-personalisation of digital advertising, based on the Buying Modalities Framework (= buyers “decision-making profiles”). It proves to be very successful.

1️⃣ Behavioural insight – to serve relevant content to finely segmented audiences

Behavioral marketing is the method by which companies target audiences based on their behavior, interests, intentions, geolocation, and other metrics using web analytics, cookies, search history, and other insights. By finely segmenting audiences based on specific behaviors or definitive user profiles, organizations can provide truly relevant content and offers. This is critical to increase ads campaigns performance through digital advertising personalisation.

For McKinsey, 

“Research tells us that organizations that leverage customer behavioral insights outperform peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin”.

However, stats also show that 76% of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting. In online marketing, a lot of testing and tweaking takes place to see what works best. But if you can properly assess your audience, you can design your marketing material (including ads and websites) to generate more performance.

2️⃣ Beyond relevance and segmentation… using the buying profiles to trigger action

One of the fastest ways to assess each unique visitor to a website (with massive impact, i.e. increased clicks and conversion) is to apply the buying modalities framework (which was first introduced by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg). It assesses how each of us makes decisions.

There are four prominent buying modalities in this framework, that refers to four distinct buyer types:

📘 Competitive

📕 Spontaneous

📙 Methodical

📗 Humanistic

  • For the sake of clarity, these profiles do not define the whole complexity of our psychological profiles; of course, we are more sophisticated that that! But they provide insights on how buyers approach purchasing decisions and behave during a purchase.
  • These profiles do predict with great relevance how we primarily make decisions, and what prompts us to react positively and take action.
  • Let’s put it this way: each of us has their own way to look at advertising (or any online content) and to make decisions. The inconvenient truth, though, is that even when we look at highly relevant ads (right product, right context, right time, etc.), more often than not, we are not reacting or taking action. Why? Because the value proposition and the call to action do not resonate with us. It doesn’t click with the way we make decisions.

The way we look at relevant ads or relevant content, what makes them resonate with us, and prompt us to react to them (i.e. make decisions) is driven by 2 main characteristics:

⏳ Are we slow or fast making decisions? ⏱

🧠 Are we more driven by logic or by emotion? ❤️

The Buying Modalities Framework – Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg | Decision-making profiles and digital advertising

In short, consumers can be uniquely identified based on their buying modality: their unique profiles, that describe their unique buying behaviours. With this is mind, we can create hyper-personalised digital ads, and optimise website’s consumer journey.

3️⃣ Creating value propositions and calls to action that resonates with each buyer

By understanding what motivates each buying modality to take action, advertisers, brands, ad & media agencies, and publishers can create efficient communications to convert them. Digital ads and websites will greatly benefit to focus on: what really matters to them, what makes them react, what grabs their attention, what reduce their anxiety and reassure them, what are potential objections; and conversely, what makes them blind, because it doesn’t resonate with them.

  • With this information, you can communicate with them in a way that much more decisively inspires comsumers to take action. By crafting and serving the most effective and efficient value proposition and call to action! 
  • Outcomes? It does significantly increase clicks and click-through rates, deliver more quality leads, improve the impact of branded content, extract more value from subscription and email campaigns, and increase conversion rates on your website. 

4️⃣ How can you motivate each profile to react?

The 4 profiles describe how each person primarily makes a decision. It doesn’t mean that there are no overlaps, or that you can’t find a bit of yourself in each profile, but one of them will resonate much better with you: you will pay attention and you are more likely to react to the sound of it. Using these profiles changes drastically the impact of digital advertising (more clicks, more qulaity leads) and websites’ conversion rates.
The key characteristics of these 4 profiles:

The competitive buyer | Fast to make decisions + driven by logic

The competitive buyer is a high standard type of person, competitive, high achiever, who likes solving challenges. This kind of buyer is goal-oriented, they strive for recognition and are driven by achievement. They are often independent and seek to control in important situations. They want to make smart, assertive, fast and logic-based decisions quickly. They have usually already done their research and are well informed, and see knowledge, speed and decisiveness as a competitive advantage.

 To gain and capture the competitive buyer? On your ads, content or landing page, they need the type of value proposition and call to action that can trigger (and justify) their fast action (and success): what your product does for them, how your product will help them reach their goals. The competitor in them needs to see the advantages they will benefit from. How it will impact their outcomes. Why your product is the best choice. What are the proofs of your claims, that makes them confident about your company and your product. When your product is used by successful people or companies, it will influence them as they want to compete in the same league.

❌ Show them any value proposition and call to action that would resonate with a humanistic-oriented type of person… and it won’t work!

The spontaneous buyer | Fast to make decision + driven by emotion

The spontaneous buyer, considered the second largest of the four segments, doesn’t want to commit time to decision making. They even show impatience and distraction during purchasing decisions. They may go with the flow, they like simple courses of action, may also be keen on subjective decision-making and impulse buying, and are even likely to not take action if over-stimulated! Their decisions are driven by feelings: quick purchases with perceived emotional benefits.

 To gain and capture the competitive buyer? On your ads, content or landing page, they need the type of value proposition and call to action that can prompt their love for things that are new and interesting, and preferably include social interaction: a sense of urgency (sales, discounts, and time-sensitive offers) that resonates with their speed motivation, as they need to make quick decisions and move on. Show that your solution is best for them right now! The impression that their needs are immediately addressed, with no waiting time! Guarantees to reassure them (they are impulsive decision-makers, not unreasonable decision-makers). A sense of excitement! In the visuals or in the text: show them how it will let them enjoy life more; they do not like when it’s boring, and they move quickly! No details: messages that are straight to the point, and also simplicity in the instructions and the process.

❌ Show them a value proposition and call to action that would appeal to the methodical buyer (see below), and you’ll lose the spontaneous immediately; and probably forever.

The methodical buyer  | Slow to make decision + driven by logic

The methodical buyer, considered the largest of the four segments, needs plenty of time: he is not a fast decision-maker; he is logical and process-oriented. He feels comfortable making decisions after reviewing all data and available information: facts, features, specs, comparison; scrutinising and analysing most, if not all details (including the fine print), reading a whole landing page. They overthink, and can suffer from the analysis paralysis syndrome! Before eventually making a relieved decision.

 To gain and capture the competitive buyer? On your ads, content or landing page, they need the type of value proposition and call to action that feed their need for comprehensive, broad, and deep knowledge. These buyers do extensive research, challenge all the data they see, must see transparent information. They will look at side-by-side comparisons to help them chose. They also trust expert opinions (independent experts reviews and feedback). You must provide them with: specs, features, brochures, even the fine print. Pictures that are detailed enough. Explain how this product solves their problem. Promise (and prove) that this solution is the best and most relevant, that can be favorably compared with the competition. Evidence, honest claims (and hard numbers that back your claims). Reassure them and build trust: reputable trust badges, and reviews or testimonials from real buyers whose reviews can be verified. They also like logical steps, with clear step-by-step process.

❌ If you try to rush a methodical buyer into making a decision (e.g., with time-sensitive discounts, contests, or offers), they will grow sceptical. As they feel uncomfortable making quick decisions, you’ll hurt their core value, and they’ll escape.

The humanistic buyers | Slow to make decision + driven by emotion

The humanistic buyers take their time, and they tap into their emotional side. Authenticity is key for them, they value narrative, creativity, and personality. The human aspect of life (developing relationships, interacting with people, caring about and helping others) is a primary driver, and explain the emotion behind their decisions.

 To gain and capture the humanistic buyer? On your ads, content or landing page, they need the type of value proposition and call to action that affect human emotion: creativity, storytelling, rich media, social belonging, social well-being, ethical approval, helping others… With humanistic buyers, it helps to get social: they will do live chats with your staff; they also like to feel “involved” (by voting on reviews, interacting with other users, be part of discussions), and they trust user-generated videos and photos. They also value creativity in the way you present things. In summary, what works best with humanistic buyers are: social proof and testimonials from customers who are just like them (“who else has used this solution to solve my problem, and how does it solve it?”). Real photos from real customers and from staff (and faces). Being personable: aligning with their interests through personal stories; helping them to connect with others. And CTA focused on joining, sharing, connecting.

❌ Don’t alienate them! Although not the biggest of these 4 profiles, the growth of this buyer modality is expected: they are social customers with sustainability awareness, who wants to consider products and companies that share their values. Last but not least, humanistic buyers are typically great ambassadors for a brand.

►  Which of these profiles is the closest to yours? [I am radically methodical…]

No alt text provided for this image
Digital advertising: hyper-personalised content that matches with decision-making profiles

►  What value proposition and call to action should you create for your solution/product, because they will resonate with each one of these profiles? 

Identifying buyer modalities enables to gain insight on how buyers approach purchasing decisions, and how they behave during a purchase. But the real purpose, once you know these decision profiles, is to create significant value for you and your customers, and to generate higher outcomes.

5️⃣ One profile, multiple use cases

What gets us excited about these profiles identification, is that it leads to many use cases: in digital advertising (display, branded content), email marketing, subscription campaigns, website’s customer journey, … There are many use cases, you can pick only one of them, but it’s even better if you can optimise the whole chain.

📈 In digital advertising:

This is relevant for both media publishers, brands, and media agencies. 

  • Display ads: one single creative can become, with only minor adjustments, 4 versions that are aligned with the needs of each profile. From our experience, the gain in CTR on display advertising can reach 50%.
  • Branded content: again, with subtle tweaks, you can have versions of this content that resonates better with each profile; alternatively, you can direct your visitors to the places where they will find the content which is most relevant to them.

📈 Email campaigns:    

Brands and ad agencies are making a smart use of this capability.

Your campaigns may already (or may not) be based on segmentation and persona. When adding in both the email topic and body, the value proposition and the call to action that will work best with each profile, the open rate and conversion rate are significantly increasing.     

📈 Subscription campaigns:      

Like with email campaigns, tailoring the message (whether a pop-up window, a banner, or an email), media publishers are increasing the conversion of readers to subscribers by adjusting the value proposition and the call to action to each profile.

📈 On your website:      

Forrester states that 83% of users will not come back to a website if the experience doesn’t meet their expectations! How can you achieve a persuasive landing page and optimise consumer journey, to the point that your conversion rate increases? With the buying modalities framework, the customer journey is adjusted to each decision-making profile. That means: the conversion rate is optimised, which translates into a +32% or more, from our own experience.

📈 Testing hypotheses (A/B tests) or content creation for DCO.

6️⃣ There is a better way than trying to cover all modalities on your ads and landing pages

Of course, we can have a minimalist approach: prioritising, based on a main expected profile. But there is a much more powerful way: you can predict the decision-making profile of each website visitor, using the buyer modalities. More of this later!

Minimalist, but sub-optimised approach:

  • You can make the assumption that your site appeals more to certain buyer types: which modality would seem to fit your ideal customers, and how should you communicate with them to increase engagement and conversions. You can test these assumptions and the variations of your messaging (value proposition, CTA) that focus on different buyer modalities, on landing pages, homepages, checkout pages and exit pop-up, etc.
  • The value proposition and call to action will certainly target users with more precision, and should improve conversion. But not as much as choosing to analyse every visitor’s profile, as explained later.
  • However, at minima, any website should appeal to all 4 modalities, like in the great example below:
No alt text provided for this image
Conversion rate optimisation, digital advertising, hyper-personalised consumer journey
  • For digital advertising, though, it is unlikely that you can reach out to all 4 modalities, with balance and success… You are likely to focus your messaging on the dominant buyer modality, by focusing on one dimension of the matrix. The worst-case scenario (it happens) is that everyone is put off because it doesn’t “speak” to them.

The good news? There are ways to optimise your ad, your content, or your landing pages, to resonate with each of your consumers’ decision-making profiles. Which translates into increased impact (clicks, conversion, satisfaction) and outcomes.

We will show how to do it during our webinar – 🗓️ Save the date (we don’t do this often!): Tuesday 2 March 2021, at 11 am Central European time (that is 10 am London time). You can register here.

🏁 Advertising and selling according to buyer modalities do trigger significantly more consumers reaction (and action!)

The internet provides many data… but is not a great listener! We still struggle to understand and morph into the psychology of consumers. That’s why communicating and advertising based on the buyer modalities makes an instant (and long-term) impact. You should consider this solution, as it can successfully be used in addition, or instead of your current practices:

  • If you are already exploiting the breadth and depth of websites’ visitors data, as a publisher, agency, or as a brand, and you have advanced solutions to segment, understand buyer’s persona, and target or retarget. These 4 profiles are much more than the cherry on the cake: they are a game-changer for digital advertising. They effectively enable value propositions, call to action, and journeys to be that triggers reaction and action.
  • If you think that DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimisation) is offering great potential, but with too many operational and cost constraints (multiple creatives, a whole DCO system, etc.): this is a simpler and more cost effective alternative, albeit in the same vein.  
  • If you are not using many data yet (or have access to very limited datasets), and segmentation and user persona are not as strong as you want: think of it as a way to short-cut more complex processes and platforms .

PS: You can register here to take part to our short and insightful webinar (how you can make the best of this buying modalities framework, to increase the impact of your ads, content, and consumer journey). Otherwise, do feel free to get in touch with Jean Littolff or Peter Coopmans at Addrelevance.


The Addrelevance solution ( significantly increases the impact of digital advertising, digital content, and online conversion (+30 to 50% click-through rate and conversion rate). Their innovative process is unique: powered by Artificial Intelligence, it goes well beyond current advertising targeting, personalisation, and segmentation solutions, by predicting websites visitors’ decision-making profiles.

#Personalisation #DigitalAdvertising #ClickThroughRate #AI

Addrelevance is supporting advertisers, brands, ad & media agencies, and media publishers: they use the buyers’ profiles provided in real-time by Addrelevance to serve content, value propositions, and call to action that do trigger consumers’ action.

Addrelevance is an AI, data, and adtech startup based in Belgium. They are supported by Microsoft, by imec.istart, and are an IAB approved vendor (GDPR and TCF 2.0 compliant). 

No alt text provided for this image
Addrelevance: digital advertising hyper-personalisation and conversion rate optimisation

📝 All the following keywords are part of our eco-system, and we believe you can optimise their outcomes: digital marketing, digital advertising, personalisation, hyper-personalisation, display ads, branded content, programmatic, direct, programmatic direct, programmatic guaranteed, private marketplace, PMP, targeting, contextual targeting, behavioral targeting, retargeting, analytics, data management platform, DMP, inventory, measurement, impressions, impression tracking, clicks, click tracking, conversions, reach, click-through rate, CTR, cost per mille, CPM, cost per click, CPC, cost per action, cost per acquisition, CPA, conversion rate, CR, CVR, amount spent, revenue, real-time bidding, RTB, supply-side platform, SSP, ad exchanges, demand-side platforms, DSP.

No alt text provided for this image
Addrelevance – digital advertising: IAB approved vendor, Microsoft partner, supported by imec
Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *


Hyper-personalise your ads and content, based on each visitor decision-making profile. Addrelevance offers you a Neuromarketing framework, tool and consultancy.

Proud to have been selected for:
MS for Startups imec.istart

All rights reserved 2021