Customer First, Not Data

A true story…short…and one that points out the issues with so called targeting online.

I say so-called because there is targeting and…there is targeting.

Its easy to find me…yes…but why and with what is the real question.

Once upon a time…

My daughter and son-in-law went way for the weekend. The spa they stayed at had a soap that my daughter really liked for its fragrance.

A few weeks ago my son-in-law decides…what a nice Mother’s Day gift (they have a daughter) and started searching for it online. He used his personal computer, his work computer (his own legal practice), his Mom’s computer and finally bought it at some boutique site.

Meanwhile my daughter begins to notice that the soap is following her…on her computer…everywhere. Had it shown up once or twice she wouldn’t have noticed. But it got really annoying as no matter what she did the soap was stuck to her.

Then it struck her and ruined the surprise….

But I imagine that it’s also ruining some poor soap site’s investment budget as they badgered her, without any thought or plan, not knowing that the gift had been purchased and that weepy had turned creepy.

I have written about this many times, but the latest iteration of the spoiled surprise made me realize, once again, just how little insight goes into programmatic targeting and just how much real marketing is being sacrificed for nothing more than digitaling.

The joke is that Amazon are real marketers…they experiment with classical marketing paradigms. Of course they are a digital business…but they are also a physical business and they also have to fulfill and deliver your purchase…another powerful marketing moment.

Remember… Digital is everything but not everything is digital….in this case if you are a marketer you are by definition a digitaler….but if you think digital first you are a mere digitaler and you will lose.

People first….be a marketer. Understand the serendipity of humans. Don’t ruin my daughters next surprise gift…listen:

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him/her and sells itself”

- Peter Drucker

And there you have it…we might “know” more today than ever before but we are understanding ever less.

What do you think?

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