AdobeVoice: Why Personalization Is Key To The Future Of Marketing

May 12 2014, 8:58am CDT | by

By Aseem Chandra, vice president of Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target, Adobe

Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was most certainly living in a pre-Internet world.

Today it isn’t unusual for young professionals to have had several different careers before turning 30. Our faster pace of life is conducive to change, and millennials seem to happily embrace it. Truth is, I think as marketers we need to take a cue and follow suit.

Ann Lewnes, Adobe’s CMO, recently shared interesting survey data demonstrating exactly that need—for marketers to reinvent themselves. The overwhelming majority of marketers agreed their roles would change within the next three years, but few felt they knew how to take risks and embrace change in order to remain competitive. Although, when asked about the capability most important to their future marketing efforts, “personalization” ranked highest, hands down.

In other words, we not only need a marketing makeover, but taking more risks and infusing creativity into our personalization efforts will be key to its success and longevity.

Not Just in Hollywood

‘Personalization’ today seems light years ahead of what we considered so helpful even just a couple years ago. Yet, I believe as marketers we still don’t fully grasp the potential of what today’s technologies can help achieve in terms of online and offline personalization—and until we start taking risks and reaching beyond what we believed was possible, we’ll never get to our much-needed reinvention.

In my favorite movie scene from Iron Man 2 , billionaire Tony Stark appears before a Senate committee to defend his high-tech superhero suit. With the swipe of his fingers, he commandeers the committee’s TV screen from his mobile device and projects video from his device directly onto the screen, obtaining the upper hand during the proceedings.

What a clever Hollywood screenwriter imagined just four years ago may have seemed inaccessible, but in reality, the technology exists today. This cool project , focused on enabling workspaces of the future and built in our own labs, delivers functionality to wirelessly share content across different screens with the flick of your fingers. Point is, what begins as a dream among developers can have immense applicability in the physical and digital worlds. Think about retailers offering kiosks where shoppers can transfer desired products or outfits from their devices onto screens to find similar items in-store.

Likewise, it’s critical in the era of the social web and sharing economy for marketers to ensure they’re personalizing experiences in the ‘offline’ or physical world, as well as its digital counterpart, and always grounding it in data. For example, fitmob connects fitness enthusiasts who share similar fitness levels and interests with local trainers for group workouts. The company’s website and mobile app function as the main faces of its service, but they place equal importance on curating the offline experiences to deliver on users’ expectations, providing seamless service across channels.

Daring to Dream

In truth, the possibilities for online and offline personalization are only limited by marketers’ imaginations. Here’s further inspiration:

Smart Furniture designed a clever online tool to identify and categorize shoppers’ personal furniture styles. The retailer then dynamically suggests and highlights products individual to each shopper and offers a visualization feature to lay out the products in a customer’s own space.

Redbox tailors homepage content for first-time or repeat visitors and suggests new products based on previous rentals or favorite categories. The rental service even offers streaming options when a particular video isn’t available nearby, as well as online reservations so customers simply insert their credit card at the kiosk to obtain a previously reserved item.

Online shopping services Stitch Fix and Le Tote offer curated selections of clothing to purchase or rent (think Netflix for fashion) and refine recommendations over time based on members’ individual budgets and tastes. Personal stylists provide recommendations that are further refined by machine algorithms to deliver a truly customized service. Stitch Fix also works to create a tailored offline experience for every customer. A beautifully wrapped box arrives with a stylist’s hand-written note describing why each item was selected—continuing the same brand experience the customer first encountered online.

Take the Risk to Reinvent

It’s clear consumers are increasingly demanding more personalized and customized service in the digital as well as physical worlds. A mobile-optimized website or salesperson wielding an iPad are table stakes now, and as marketers we need to anticipate expectations with new ideas and inspirations of our own./>/>

Here, we can all take inspiration from the great Walt Disney, who famously said, “if you can dream it, you can do it.” After suffering several setbacks early in his career, he created some of the world’s most iconic animated characters and stories, not to mention a theme park and business empire. Not only was he a pioneer in animated film (akin to the digital world of his time), but he brought these magical experiences to life in the physical world, too.

By infusing that same drive, perseverance and creativity—as well as a touch of the latest technology—into our own marketing and personalization strategies, we can create the change that’s tantalizingly at our fingertips.

Aseem Chandra is vice president of Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target for Adobe’s Digital Marketing business. In his role, Chandra is the general manager of these product lines, and oversees business strategy and investment plans, product roadmap, market positioning, field enablement, and pricing. He has 20 years of general technology management, marketing, partnering, and mergers-and-acquisitions experience. Chandra is on the board of Gaja Capital, a private equity fund based in Mumbai, India, and Hydrocephalus Association, a non-profit organization that advocates and directs research on behalf of those affected by brain injuries. He’s a frequent speaker at prominent industry conferences.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Shift work can worsen asthma, pneumonia
London, July 28 (IANS) A research has found that drugs widely used to treat lung diseases like asthma or pneumonia work better with the body clock.
 
 
Decoded: What triggers sexual arousal in you
New York, July 28 (IANS) Know why just looking at an attractive face stimulates sexual arousal? Well, it takes two to tango!
 
 
Turn your selfie into emoji with this app
New York, July 28 (IANS) Tired of seeing the same yellow-faced smileys? In an age of selfies, how can emojis be far behind?
 
 
Lenovo to take on Google Glass
New York, July 28 (IANS) Lenovo is developing a wearable smart glass similar to Google Glass with an external battery to be worn on the neck.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Lady Gaga portraits auctioned
New York, July 29 (IANS) Pop star Lady Gaga's "video portraits" raised over $1 million at an auction at Watermill Center here. Director Robert Wilson put on display "23 Video Portraits of Lady Gaga" series at his...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kim Kardashian followed by 'crazy driver'
Kim Kardashian claims a ''crazy driver'' followed her around Los Angeles today (07.28.14). The 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' star hit back at rumors she was pulled over by police officers in Calabasas, California,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Elizabeth Banks is 'very genetically blessed'
Elizabeth Banks says she is ''very genetically blessed.'' The 'Hunger Games' actress, who has sons Felix, three, and Magnus, 20 months, with husband Max Handleman, insists she only recently realized she is attractive,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Courteney Cox receives engagement gifts
Johnny McDaid and Courteney Cox received several engagement presents in his native Northern Ireland. The newly-engaged couple were given complimentary souvenirs by excited fans in the city of Derry while exploring the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis to wed next July
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are planning to get married next July. The couple, who got engaged earlier this year and are expecting their first child, have reportedly set a date for their wedding next summer, as they...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Tuesday
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) The following is the list of Indians who will be seen in action in the 2014 Commonwealth Games Tuesday. Schedule Badminton (Emirates Arena) Men's singles (Round of 64): R.M.V.Gurusaidutt vs...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Indian medal winners at 2014 Commonwealth Games
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) The following is the list of Indian medal winners at the 20th Commonwealth Games: Gold Sanjita Khumukchan: women's 48 kg weightlifting Sukhen Dey: men's 56 kg weightlifting Abhinav Bindra: men'...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Hi-tech machine spews beer for fans mimicking Scot talk (CWG Diary)
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) Fancy a free beer? Get talking in Scottish! A hi-tech water cooler that talks to visitors and dispenses beer is doing the rounds of the city assessing one's accent and rewarding the best with a...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ed Sheeran can't keep a secret
Los Angeles, July 29 (IANS) Singer Ed Sheeran is not good at keeping secrets and this habit of his annoys his celebrity friends. The 23-year-old is incredibly open about his life, and though he hasn't shared anything...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Mixed day for Indian women in lawn bowls
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) Indian women won in paris but lost their triples match in lawn bowls of the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Monday. The Indian team won their first match in second round of pairs in section B...
Read more on Sport Balla