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Forget Evil, Don’t Be Creepy!

Three Ways to Avoid Creepiness

Marketers are being offered unprecedented new capabilities to target consumers by interests and behavior. There’s growing evidence, though, that consumers are finding these personalized pitches off-putting. A new survey of UK social media users showed that nearly half “don’t like having ads targeted to them based on information included in their social media profiles, including activities, interests, and other personal data.” While Google’s motto has been, “Don’t Be Evil,” perhaps a more appropriate one would be, “Don’t Be Creepy!” […]

By |February 21st, 2012|

Put Your Customer on the Product

Lately, I’ve highlighted the various ways companies (and even colleges) are putting their customers in their ads by using social personalization or other means. In Australia, Coke took the idea one step farther, and put customer names directly on its product: […]

By |February 14th, 2012|

Get Schooled: Use Social Personalization Like Higher Ed

Colleges and universities face some unique marketing challenges in the U.S. With more than 3,000 competitors, attracting the right students takes effort and creativity. Even schools that have no trouble “filling the seats” have important enrollment objectives for academic accomplishment, extracurricular skills, and, in many cases, ability to pay. I’ve written about the need for colleges to differentiate themselves by strong branding (see College Branding, for example). Just about every school is trying to reach students via social media, but a few are taking it to the next level with social personalization and other techniques to create a unique marketing appeal for each potential applicant. […]

By |February 10th, 2012|

Social Personalization and the Doppelganger Effect

Are you overlooking a way to personalize your ads that goes far beyond the usual “Dear Roger” salutation?

In my recent article, Put Your Customer in the Ad, I mentioned that LinkedIn was using profile pictures for targeted ads. Since then, I’ve been able to capture a couple of examples. The first one surprised me when it appeared, and to generate a second one I had to surf a variety of profiles. Here’s what I like about these ads: […]

By |February 1st, 2012|

Put Your Customer in the Ad!

In my direct mail days, we used personalization whenever possible. Starting a letter with “Dear Roger” instead of “Dear Friend” responds better every time (if the recipient’s name is Roger, that is!). A sweepstakes that uses a […]

By |January 24th, 2012|

What’s in a Name? Lots!

Dale Carnegie once said, “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.” It’s a good bet that even Carnegie would be surprised at how true that statement is, even at the unconscious level. […]

By |November 17th, 2010|

Personalization: Post-Its and Beyond

Have you ever received a printed invitation to, say, a charity fundraiser, and found that someone you know on the organizing committee had hand-written a short note encouraging you to attend? (Or sat in a room with other people actually scribbling such notes, periodically asking questions like, “Who knows Elmer and Dolly Pennington?”) It turns out that this activity has some good research underpinnings, and may point the way to boost success rates in a variety of marketing endeavors. […]

By |December 1st, 2008|

Nonprofit Marketing: The Power of Personalization

Logic tells us that a bigger problem should get more attention. One person suffering from a disease is certainly bad, but a thousand afflicted individuals should motivate us far more. As is often the case in our odd world of neuromarketing and neuroeconomics, research shows that our brains operate in an illogical and perhaps unexpected manner. Paul Slovic, a researcher at Decision Research, has demonstrating this by measuring the contribution levels from people shown pictures of starving children. Some subjects were shown a photo of a single starving child from Mali, others were shown a photo of two children. All were identified by name. The subjects shown two children donated 15% less than the single child subjects. In a related experiment, subjects shown a group of eight starving children contributed 50% less money than those shown just one. […]

By |September 20th, 2007|