Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The 3 Big Problems with Personalization in digital marketing

I recently read an interesting article in Entrepreneur – The 3 big problems with personalization in online sales and marketing . This is interesting to me because the business concept I was thinking about was totally focused on personalization and the current lack thereof.

To quote the author “Personalization in the digital space is just like sex in high school. Everyone is talking about it, but few are doing it.”. Companies are increasingly making personalization part of their digital marketing strategy, but so far I have seen very few companies being able to accurately personalize. Accuracy is still questionable even with major companies like Google, Yahoo and Amazon. Most ads are displayed based on basic information such as past searches and inferences based on the “type” of searches; however search is not always a good tool for personalization for various reasons like I could be searching for another family member or it could have been a random one-off search. The most common personalization is when Yahoo or Amazon display ads or related ads for something after you already bought the item.

The article talks about segmenting the audience, keeping it simple, testing various data points and scale. I don’t think accurate personalization is an easy problem to solve. I think Google is making progress on this  - using one google account across many services and devices and unique advertising Id, but I do not believe that will completely solve the problem either.

I am reminded of a scene in the movie Minority Report where a person’s eyes are automatically scanned by digital display boards in malls and subways to display a personalized ad. Now that is personalization in digital marketing !

No comments: