Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let's get personal

With all the data that exists on the web, it is possible to deduce (Sherlock Holmes style) almost everything about one of your visitors, especially if he/she chooses to log in with a social network, such as Facebook.  If you already know everything about someone, why not take them straight to what they need?  If Facebook, Google, and other large social networks succeed in advertising to their customers on a personal level, showing them what they want when they need it, their click through rates would skyrocket.  

The problem isn't that it can't be done.  The data mining is already a thing of the past.  The problem is that when someone you have never met knows your entire life story, its creepy and off putting.  While click through rates and conversions skyrocket, your visitors feel like its an invasion of privacy.  

Even though Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn know everything about me, the problem is that I didn't tell them... I told my friends.  So how does a company make a paradigm shift from "listening in on personal conversations" to "helping you get the most out of the internet"?

Start a conversation with your customers.  Take them out for a digital date and take it slow.  When they are ready to open up about what makes them tick, you won't have to infer anything and they will lust for your recommendations.