We have an issue with how “personalization” in marketing is defined.
Most marketers agree that personalization of the customer experience is extremely important. However, we think that the definition of personalization in the industry has taken a dark turn into – frankly – creepy levels of automated digital stalking.
Many of us have stories about how we say something into the ether and minutes later an ad pops up on our feeds about that exact product/service. That’s not by accident, and somewhere someone in digital marketing is patting themselves on the back for that “personalization”. When something like that happens, it feels anything but personal. It often feels the opposite.
What personalization in our industry truly needs to be is completely different, and a lot less intrusive. Personalization should mean understanding historical contexts, embracing cultural nuances, and relatable stories where audiences can find themselves truly seen – often for the first time.
That is true personalization, and it doesn’t require digital stalking – it requires embracing lived experiences and an inclusive mindset.