How personalization could help you sell to me
Did you see the scene in Minority Report where the Tom Cruise character is walking through a shopping mall and all the stores are identifying him (by a retina scan, I think) and then delivering custom messages?
A lot of people fear that kind of stuff. They get worried that the local grocery store knows they have a pet cat, or that Google knows which web sites they’ve visited.
I agree there is some cause for concern over the proliferation of personal data, but I can also see an upside.
I don’t want advertisements for dog food or commercials for “adult” movies or emails telling me where I can get my latest horoscope.
But aside from that relatively trivial stuff, I would like to be able to see what I want to know about a product. For example, if I’m interested in a coat, the first thing I do is look at the price tag. If it’s not in the range I’d want to pay, I lose all interest.
Other people don’t shop like that. They want to see how it looks, and whether it has a special jelly bean pocket, and whatever else is important to them, and if it has enough fancy features they like they’re willing to pay a premium for it.
Marketers decide how to display / sell a product based on averages. They do tests — e.g., show it this way to half the market and this other way to the other half of the market and see which method works better.
That maximizes sales, but it also forces all of us to put up with that same sales technique.
This weekend I got an email advertising a roundtable discussion on digital marketing issues. I clicked through to find out what it was about and had to put up with a really annoying video — obnoxious music in the background, jargon-laden nonsense about the product, etc.
That stuff doesn’t work with me. I want to know what it is and how much it costs. If the presentation doesn’t answer that question in the first 20 seconds, I’m gone. That’s how I treat sales people who call me on the phone, and that’s my expectation for videos.
Obviously I’m not in the majority. Other methods must be working better in the target market for these services.
Maybe some time in the future some really good personalization will solve this. Everybody else can get the fluffy stuff and I can get the fact-based presentation I want.