Mass unpersonalization

One of the massive opportunities of digital today is the ability to specifically target and personalize our messages and calls to action for users.

This week, two messages came across my inbox that had great potential to be personal, but instead were impersonal.

  1. A friend invited me to a fundraiser for a cause they are passionate about. However, instead of inviting me to the event in my city, where I live, the message I got was an invitation to all the events across the whole country. My friend knows where I live, but didn’t take the time to put me into a ‘segment’ to invite me to the most relevant fundraiser.
  2. A local restaurant network wanted to let me know about holiday deals inviting me to dine. I’ve actually been to two of the network’s locations and enjoyed both. Instead of giving me one specifically tailored opportunity to dine over the holidays, I got the same email twice with general information about all the restaurants. Someone failed to check the lists and only send to ‘unique’ customers.

Both of these examples could have been tweaked with just a few minutes in any of today’s marketing platforms. Instead of a positive brand impression with a personal ask, I was left in both cases with feeling like neither my friend of the restaurant actually cared about me and were only interested in broadcasting their message getting me to do something for them, instead of me experiencing something for me.


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