Road to Personalization
The marketing community loves buzzwords. One may say that some words just go viral. In the past, CRM was one. Server-migration (from mainframes) was another. Cloud computing – even among non-IT groups – has some magic power. Big Data has indeed been a big one the past few years, though it surely is losing its coolness, especially among data professionals. But, in some countries and communities, it is still gaining momentum. The latest one, I think, is “Personalization.”
Do you know how I get to find out how some words are becoming popular? The fastest way is to attend a conference and check out which session keywords are filling up the rooms. Attendance, like in the movie industry, is a sure way to measure the power of the keyword. We often see that some speeches and articles are not even remotely related to the word in question, but that doesn’t seem matter much. Everyone and their cousins start selling the word like it’s a magic potion that cures all. If you happen to come across a password to a goldmine, won’t you try it, too?
Once the word starts go viral, the power of magic starts to influence the real-life decision-making processes. Yes, I’ve been using every chance to debunk the mystery around Big Data, through this series and other opportunities. But I have to admit that those two words originally strung together for marketing purposes by software companies opened so many new doors to meetings and speaking engagements to which data geeks never dreamed of having access a mere four to five years ago. If you ask me what the best outcome of the Big Data movement is, my answer is that decision-makers, in general, became aware of the importance of analytics based on collected data. Analysts no longer have to spend a long time in meetings to justify the usage of data and analytics; we can simply dive right into the subject now.
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 email@example.com.