Comedian Daniel Tosh used to have a stand-up special that described his style of jokes as starting broad, getting narrower and narrower until it the topic was offending just one, single person in the audience. In the new world of marketing, we’re all that living, breathing punchline…you just might not have noticed.
Digital advertising is getting more and more targeted, and it’s not just social media. Algorithms and artificial intelligence are combining to give business tools that would have been unthinkable even twenty years ago. The evolution of advertising over the past century has gone from spending a lot of money shouting from the rooftops to having a conversion with just the right person…and that’s on your budget, too.
You’re literally watching this shift every night. The same algorithms that Netflix uses to suggest new shows and movies, or that Spotify uses to create custom playlists, are being structured to offer you a new backpack, a new laptop, or a trip to Florida. The platforms making these suggests know you’ll be interested because they know you. They take your previous searches, clicks, browsing history, purchase history, demographic information, mix it all together in a fraction of a second, and show you what you were already thinking about.
What’s important to realize about this technology is what it isn’t. This isn’t operating like a more traditional remarketing campaign, where you may already have a previous customer email with a purchase history on your eCommerce site. This isn’t simply targeting people that like your Facebook or Instagram page. The real future of this will encompass all users of a platform, in real-time, with AI sifting through the masses for the right customers based on accumulated information on billions of people’s current state of mind. It will even learn your emotional state based on the sites you visit, the words and hashtags you use, and your previous history. Sad on Twitter? You’ll see Ben and Jerry’s promoted posts. Seriously. This is going to be the norm.
More and more, we’re getting access to tools that let us target customers for our clients that let us focus relevant, engaging content at exactly the right time. By making the most of these personalization tools, we’re able to stop yelling on the street and start talking to the right people about a product we already know they want. Hyper-personalized marketing is here, and it’s making digital marketing more valuable than ever, in every industry.