Personalized marketing

This is really cool. Reason magazine is personalizing their covers with satellite imagery showing the location of the individual subscriber! Imagine the surprise of the subscriber when the magazine shows up. But it spawns an interesting debate between the sanctity of privacy and the power of personalized marketing (for both the economy and the individual). If done right, personalized marketing helps everybody in the chain (“How did they know I was out of toothpaste?! Cool - $1 off!“). If done wrong, it can violate somebody's privacy (“Honey, I swear that ad for Gambler's Anonymous isn't for me!“) or make innacurate assumptions about what they want, filtering out the stuff that they really do want (the “TiVo effect“ - if you watch Happy Gilmore you must be a golf fan, right?).

For other really cool satellite imagery stuff, check this out. Download the trial. Using this software makes you really appreciate the smart client!

Comments (3)
  1. This is a big issues in the EU especialy and in many other countries, hence, one might think about permission based marketing, otherwise many customers will never let you have the data to personalize in the first place. Unfortunatly this is a topic well too little researched to be actionable. Who tells you the permision persionalized customer really trusts you and will hence buy more and more often with greater afinity and loyalty? Only time (and reasearch) will tell 😉

  2. Sorry about posting a comment on an old post, but I found this post on Google. I actually work at a business doing 1:1 personalized marketing like this.

    For example, there was a storm recently in the states that did some light damage to roofs, siding, etc. So for our customer (a company that sells a lot of building supplies) we sent out personalized postcards telling the client about some products for fixing common damage like they may have had.

    Aside from the situation specific portion of that piece we did very little personalization, but on other pieces the customization is more apparent. For example a person selling insurance could order a brochure from one of our sites with a good amount of specifics about the customer. They can enter the users name and have the names peppered throughout the document, choose the customer’s demographic and have the cover image personalized, choose the language the user speaks, and finally their own info.

    When they are done the customer has a hard copy of a brochure in their hands 2 days later that has a cover image marketed to hispanics, the document is in spanish, the customer’s name appears front an center and within the text of the document, and contact information for the agent selling the insurance is on the back along with a color picture of the agent. It’s all designed to catch the eye when it comes down to it.

    Now if they know that much about you I would be scared if I was not a current customer of the company, but the satellite maps are less scary since all you need is an address.

  3. Brian Keller says:

    Thanks for the comments, Josh. That’s a really interesting take on what you do at your company.

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