Filtering: The future of marketing and personalization
As I sit down on a Friday night with my glass of wine and bowl full of popcorn I begin to explore my options on what to watch. First, do I start with Netflix, HBO, or Hulu? Then I decide what the genre I am in the mood for, should I watch something I have already seen before or something new? Do I want the movie that includes my favorite actress, actor or both? These are the types of questions content users like me ask themselves every day. From watch to watch-on Netflix, what song to listen to and what to read, tweet, post and buy as a product. How does a marketer know what you want when you don’t even know half the time?
Marketers look at an individual like me and filter my choices, likes, dislikes, previous history, cultural environment and brands to better understand what they can give to me. Filtering comes into our every day life. A problem with filtering is that there is too much content in the world. According to Kevin “ Every 12 months we produce 8 million posts, 182 billion tweets, 400,000 new products.” With the flick of our wrist and the touch on our phone consumers have access to everything. Many marketers see this content and realize that people need help to navigate through all of this. The book explains many different ideas of filtering such as gatekeepers who are our parents, the time we call our dad for a recommendation for tires. We are filter by intermediates, the “yes” of headline of newspapers. The book gives detailed about how we filter through curators, for example museums don’t show everything, they only select their showings through filters. We filter by our favorite brands, and freedom of speech. The last 3 mentioned in the book are based on cultural environment, friends, and ourselves, which are the most important. Starting from a young age we are thrown into different content, and choices we make depend on the surrounding influences we grew up with. Family and friends are a huge influence on our daily lives that also influence our decisions as we grow. But the most important influencers we listen to are ourselves. I will talk about the future of marketing, how we as a single individual can create content for people who are similar to us and share our likes and dislikes, and also the technology changes that demonstrate where the world is headed.
First we start out with the most important influences, and many can argue those marketers are the most important but I see ourselves who want to create that content for us as the most important.
What happens when I start filtering my self and marketers see a trend where their influence doesn’t affect the consumer anymore? That is where the idea of filtering and recommendations comes into play. However, even after filtering through the library of every content that exists on this earth, there is still too much content. Marketing in the future will change this, this will become more personal, more useful tools that deliver more of what you know you like. We see this with twitter, based on whom you should follow. Amazon looks at your previous purchases history compared to people who are buying the similar products to you. According to Kevin, Amazon can thank a 3rd of their sales to the people who believe that these filtered recommendations are more reliable than experts or friends. Netflix has 300 people working on its recommendation system, 300 people working in a building showing you what you want. They know nothing about you, where you live, your family or friends, but they do know that you love Jennifer Aniston and that one time you drunkenly watched an international movie. So, why does Netflix still suck at giving you poor recommendations? Kevin explains this as “over fitting” The content users or consumers get stuck at a lower than ideal peak because many people already act like they have reached the top. Many consumers trust the brands they use the most the brands their friends and family love or hate.
Breaking the filter:
How do you break the filtering and better understand your consumers? One thing to break this is transparency, and transparency will become huge as time goes on for marketing. Consumers are expecting more information about the brand, product or content. Marketers that advertise the brand or product that connects more closely with the consumer is one of the ways a company can take off.
Another idea that was brought to attention was the different companies use their filters, many companies are not the same and don’t appeal to the same customer.
We talk about the different companies that use filters to understand their consumers. One way a marketer can better understand a consumer or content user is to collaborate their history from all the sites to fit into one main source of information. You take your likes, dislikes, favorites, previous history from sites like Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and Netflix that can all be accessed into one site. Create a website that a consumer can go to every day and have suggestions pop up based on what your previous history states. Creating a profile that asks you questions about who you are can better filter your likes and dislikes.
Many marketers are still using Ads online and offline to get clicks and attention to their products. Kevin explains the idea of having a peer to peer user generated site that you create the ads and then the publisher can pick what ads they want to use to better show off their product. What better way for a person who fully believes in that product to create an ad to show everyone how much they like it. Consumers can co-create the content and many brands should be open to this idea.
Netflix will no longer spend $150 million on their 300 employees who are looking at what you want to watch next. Netflix will now spend their budget on creating more content and buying those ads that the consumer created.
I use the company Netflix the most because they base your watch history solely off of what you have watched before. They started filtering publicly before you even had a change to think about what filtering is.
Sharing your message freely is a great marketing tool, we are all given the right of free speech so why not create that ad or promotion that says it. Overall, the most important take away is that companies should hear what their customers have to say. Many customers should be able to share their message on channels within the company. The content sharing of your company should better educate your customers on your products and services and what your brand stands for.
I talk about the individuals creating the content so doesn’t this make us all marketers then? That is the question that we all face in the future, will there be a specific face of marketing or job that you are applying for or are you your own marketer? This idea will take a few years to pick up, big agencies such as Nike will never get rid of Wieden and Kennedy but Nike isn’t selling what you’re previously bought. One way that marketing will change is Wieden and Kennedy will have personalized ads. In the next 5 years what you see on your phones, computers, TVs and maybe drones will be specific to you, the ads will speak to your likes, the person creating the ads will understand you because they are similar to you. Personalization is one of the keys to the future of marketing.
I talk about how ads will be personalized, but how do we get there? Mobile phones. How do phones effect the way marketers filter? What we do on our phones, the apps we have, and the argument between a Samsung and iPhone defines as a person.
Having a phone makes you more personal to the brands and apps that are connected on your phone. We see brands such as Coca Cola and Nike come out with apps that you can personally connect with. Apps on your phone will start filtering out all the clutter that you don’t connect with. Coca Cola will know if you drink more Coke or Diet Coke based on your filters that surround you. Marketers who are in charge of these certain apps can make that app personally tied to that user. This idea does not eliminate the marketing in the bigger companies but expands on this idea. This also helps you co create your experience with these brands. Many of the apps could have you sharing your experience with the brand and that connects you with everyone else who also wants that feeling or has experienced it. You want your apps and the content of the apps to stay relevant. Technology on your phone will become a fabric of marketing in the near future.
Now that we have talked about the idea of filtering and how specific companies can get. We now move past our phones and into our daily life. Ads will be personally integrated into your life. I use the word personal because with a phone you can shut it down. But now I move to the idea of having your fridge, car or TV suggest an idea. Here is an idea that that connects you with fridge, you are making dinner and your fridge sees that you are low on butter, the fridge then shows an ad for your favorite butter on the TV of your fridge and makes a list that connects to your phone for the next time you go grocery shopping. In the future marketers can better understand where, when, and what to target your ads to.
Another way is that integration is already part of our lives but in the world 2020 integration will grow even more. Integration is already apart of this world and I think that is Apple’s main value to their company. The integration you can have between you Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iWatch is what makes Apple successful. Multi-device tracking will become the new norm. What we filter on our phones will connect to the watch on our wrist or the computer at home or in the office and even our cars.
After reading Kevin’s chapter about filtering, I have come to the conclusion that we don’t know ourselves that well. We listen to the suggestions and comments by our peers and expects but in the end we make the final choice. The fears that technology will define us are explained through out the whole paper. Does the idea of a fridge knowing that you are low on butter and can show you your favorite ad of butter make you feel less controllable? We use the techniques of filtering to optimize our personality. Many companies are starving for more filters, what will we ask our selves next? What new filters can be brought to the table that hasn’t already been addresses? When does personalized become too personalized? These are the questions that are brought up when we think of the idea of marketing evolving in the next 10 years.
Cassie Warren is a senior at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. She is studying business management & marketing with the intention of obtaining a certificate in entertainment mangement.