Intermission #1: the Hype Cycle 2017, Personification, and more

Source: Gartner & Starbucks 2017

A little late to the game, here are some ramblings about Gartner’s Hype Cycle 2017. This is just an intermission, I’ll be back with some “real” stuff soon 🙂.

Personalization vs. Personification

What caught my interest in the Hype Cycle to begin with were two light blue quantum entangled dots: on the right. riding the Slope of Enlightenment, we have Personalization and on the left the Innovation Triggering Personification. Suspiciously similar so what is the reason?

“Personalization” in marketing has been used with two different meanings:

  • marketing that is based on the user’s personal data, OR
  • marketing that is targeting specific demographics and/or personal preferences.

The first handles personal data, the second does not, so they are fundamentally different when it comes to privacy and legal regulations. To solve this ambiguity Gartner suggests to use the word “personification”, derived from marketing personas, to describe targeted marketing that doesn’t use personal data.

If this makes you all excited, please have a look at Gartner’s blog post about this. Personally I will use the term in the Gartner way and pretend that I know what I am talking about, let’s see if it works.

Methodology Gartner Style

So Gartner invented a new term, “personification”, or as they put it: “re-purposed vocabulary”, and now they are hyping it? It makes you wonder how things actually end up in the Hype Cycle. Maybe it is the most popular search terms by marketers? Or maybe they are just making it up?

Gartner should of course know and luckily they have a page aptly named Research Methodologies that explains it all. However, it turns out that Gartner’s definition of “methodology” is somewhat of a paradox or what do you think? “The method is the chart”, hmm, maybe it is inspired by “the journey is the goal”? Thought provoking but not much of help.

It would be interesting to know how they come up with their trends, i.e. their methodology. Maybe that is included in their paid services. If you know, please enlighten me!

Wearable disillusions….not!

Wearables are just crossing the line into Disillusionment. I think that is a little premature. At the Apple event September 12, 2017, Apple presented Watch Series 3 with built in cellular. As Owen Williams points out, this is a pretty big thing. Apple is not the first but this brings it definitely a step closer to mainstream and a real change in user behavior.

People are going “dark” on social, moving to messaging and soon maybe also dropping the phone in favor of wearables. The number of eyeballs are definitely in decline and no trends are pointing in the opposite direction. Maybe it is time to cater for the earballs again? Maybe a revival of radio spots and sponsored podcasts 😜?

My prediction is that wearables will get a new chance on the happy side of the hump next year.

Where is the video?

So I have argued that Video is The Next Big Thing in an earlier article since everyone is pushing for video content. But in the Hype Cycle video is nowhere to be seen. Some theories:

  • it has tipped of the chart to the right, more productive than the chart allows.
  • it is about to be reinvented and will appear on the left any second.
  • it is everywhere, like the air we breathe.

It is just content, right? It is everywhere, it almost produces itself, right?

I see lots of ways that video could secure a spot in Gartner’s “methodology” (i.e. chart): interactive video, live video, personificated video (see what I just did there?) and more. Only 8 more months before we know if Gartner agrees.

Content Marketing is recovering

Content Marketing is at the very bottom of the Trough of Disillusionment so things can only get better. Personally I have a weak spot for CM, here defined by Joe Pulizzi:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

In a world where “impressions” are in the millions, engagement is rare and loyalty is not even on the map, then the CM value proposition sounds pretty sweet. It will happen. In 2 to 5 years. I have seen it in the charts.


This intermission was not related to anything!

I would still love to hear what you think in the comments, what you agree/disagree with, what I am missing. If you like what I write, please clap (you can clap multiple times like at a concert, just so you know😉) and share on any and all channels.

If there is anything specific you want me to write about in the future, just let me know!

Until next time!