Personalization Is About the Person
Personalization is about the person. Some may say that I am stating the obvious. Really? Then explain this.
Some time ago, I bought a new garden hose nozzle for my wife, as she took up a new hobby of cultivating vegetables that we actually consume. The last time I bought such an item was more than 15 years ago, so I did some online research (but don’t automatically label me as an “online” person yet). After a few clicks, I ended up on a good old Amazon site, and bought what I would call the Cadillac of garden hose nozzles. Not only did it come with all kinds of options, intuitive handle and switches, it also was in Ferrari red. All in all, I had a very positive shopping experience.
Then a not-so-great customer experience started to happen. OK, it was still kind of cute that they showed “more of the same” items after I checked out. It is entirely possible that I’d find something even nicer seconds after the transaction, and cancel the original order and buy an alternate item. What was really annoying was that this almighty Amazon started to send a series of emails only featuring, well, guess what, more garden hose nozzles! Ah, maybe they pinned me as a “gardening enthusiast” with some fancy algorithm? Or they thought that I started a wholesale business selling nothing but fancy nozzles? Or I just became a collector of nozzles without realizing it? Then again, was I giving too much credit to their analysts?
The answer revealed itself through my next purchase with them just a few weeks later. Like many modern households, we have lots of computers scattered around our house (although not all of them could be networked together, thanks to not-so-intuitive Microsoft operating systems). One of the older computers was still with a seriously outdated mouse, so I decided to replace it with a newer model that I tried and liked. That means I needed zero research time for that purchase. Just log onto Amazon, type in the brand and model number, and do that famous one-click checkout. Simple, right?
Stephen H. Yu is a world-class database marketer. He has a proven track record in comprehensive strategic planning and tactical execution, effectively bridging the gap between the marketing and technology world with a balanced view obtained from more than 30 years of experience in best practices of database marketing. Currently, Yu is president and chief consultant at Willow Data Strategy. Previously, he was the head of analytics and insights at eClerx, and VP, Data Strategy & Analytics at Infogroup. Prior to that, Yu was the founding CTO of I-Behavior Inc., which pioneered the use of SKU-level behavioral data. “As a long-time data player with plenty of battle experiences, I would like to share my thoughts and knowledge that I obtained from being a bridge person between the marketing world and the technology world. In the end, data and analytics are just tools for decision-makers; let’s think about what we should be (or shouldn’t be) doing with them first. And the tools must be wielded properly to meet the goals, so let me share some useful tricks in database design, data refinement process and analytics.” Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.