The power of personalization

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2018 by User Not Found

A lot of the craze around the Internet of Things (IoT) is centered around two core concepts:

  • Personalization
  • Convenience

And these two concepts exist on a plane along with a factor I refer to as the “creepiness scale.” If consumers are unwilling to give out personal information or other data that allows companies to cater to them, the products don’t work as strongly as they could if consumers did give that information away.

Imagine this scenario: You need a new faucet for your kitchen sink. If you Google “kitchen faucets” on your phone, Google now can use that search history to suggest products to you via other devices on which you are signed in. Maybe, since Google also can figure out your location, it will then recommend stores to visit that are nearby or closing soon so you can go get a faucet now. Or – and this is really the only part that’s a stretch because you’ve likely experienced at least some portion of the above scenario already – Google arranges for a delivery of several kitchen faucets directly to your home within the hour, so you can test several models before making a purchase.

Personalized? Yes – you need a kitchen faucet. Convenient? Also, yes. You didn’t even have to leave your home to see several options right in your kitchen. But is it too creepy to be realistic? That’s the question.

Consumers are increasingly aware of the fact that FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google – the market’s five most popular and best-performing tech stocks) have deep access to their personal information and online activity.

The question is whether they care.

Facebook’s stock performance this week indicates they might. For the first time in three years, Facebook “failed to meet Wall Street’s expectations for revenue and user growth,” according to The Verge, and Facebook had the lowest user growth since 2011 this quarter, said Laura Sydell on NPR.

That doesn’t mean smart speakers are going away any time soon, though. Per Fast Company, the voice space is quickly growing and we’ll soon see even more retailers creating apps that bring shopping into the home via voice-activated assistants.

Outside of the retail space, there is plenty of room in the growing market for companies to meet their customers where they are (i.e. in their homes, via their IoT-connected devices) and create personalized experiences. Here are some ideas from AdWeek to help you get started.

Just maybe try to keep the creepiness to a minimum.

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