Nonsense of personalization and client data collecting

Nonsense of personalization and client data collecting

Search where you left it, not under the lamp. Think about core competencies (there’s always room for work, it’s cheap and it pays off), and forget everything else.

"Personalization", dowsing, "missions", teambuilding, needle therapy and pseudo-scientific IT-mythology enrich only crooks at your expense.

"Better less, but better"

Vladimir Lenin

The sense of deep client data collecting or does a cow need side pockets

Let’s say, you are a vendor, meaning you’re a manufacturer of something.

Anything. A food processor, for example.

To correctly design and position your device reasonably on a hell of a competitive market, you will need to analyse the hell out of your target audience. Create a profile for a typical customer (-s, if there are several groups). But we are talking only about a conditional time-averaged abstraction.

Full name, address, number of daughters and the favorite cat’s name of a particular John McJohnson, living in Nowhere city, do not matter a bit for a successful food processor product launch.

The more so, the values of specific properties of people who bought your food processor don’t matter after it has already been launched. The only useful things you have for them after the purchase are consumables and/or spare parts.

Relevance and timing of offering which is defined only by the date of purchase, or is totally indefinite.

As an error analysis session, it would be useful to know the information about your TA, who DIDN’T buy your processor — to systemize and address the reasons. But you don’t and can’t have this exact information: specifically because they DIDN’T buy it.

Now let’s imagine that you are a typical retailer, who sells these food processors.

And you don’t care which exact processors are sold (all other things being equal, like marginality), you care about the overall category rate.

You are going to say something like: you need to "know your client"™ to offer products in time, to inform them of a discount and so on and so forth — an endless stream of  advice from the PR promoting magic of Big Data?

Guys, the success of your shop (and the network altogether) is defined only by three things in decreasing order:

  • location (location, location)

  • product assortment 

  • prices

There are more factors, but all of them combined are insignificantly contrasted with the listed ones.

If everything is fine with these three — your sales will also be great; and exercising in pseudo-scientific baloneyology will only increase costs and customer frustration. If everything’s bad — sales are going to be bad, no matter which big data witchcraft you try to conjure, or which "artificial intelligence" you sacrifice "investments" to.

And you will NOT offer your clients anything of use or sense (unless it was unintentional), but you’re sure to antagonize spamming phones and emails of those spineless jellyfishes who agreed to fill in your monstrous forms.

If a person needs something, and your shop is located in a convenient place, the product is in stock and the price is right – they will come and buy it. Whenever they need it.
The consumer (however hard it is to realize for especially active administrators) knows better, what he needs and when. Let alone, it happens when he has money to make a purchase or if ever.

If there is a sales promotion for product A at the moment the consumer comes to the shop — that’s great, he will be happy. The sales promotion for X has ended (or didn’t exist at all) — the retailer (and/or vendor) will be happy because they will earn more without discounts (the fundamental stupidity of typical loyalty programs has been analyzed earlier).

If a shop is located in an inconvenient place, the product is out of stock and/or the price is bad, then no messages (even written with eloquence of Cicero) flooding in will make him buy anything from you, but he will surely curse you in person or in social networks.

The only people who profit from this absurd fuss are the merchants of relevant "solutions", providers of all possible god-awfully identical loyalty programs and alike.

No doubt your staff marketing experts benefit too. The field for the unified database is unlimited, you know.

In the end: the "know your client" maxim is a very true joke, but only in the applicable boundaries. As Obama aptly noted, "The best hammer doesn't mean every problem is a nail".

Search where you left it, not under the lamp. Think about core competencies (there’s always room for work, it’s cheap, it pays off and it surely won’t hurt you), and forget everything else. Water energising, dowsing, "missions", teambuilding, needle therapy and pseudo-scientific IT-mythology enrich only crooks at your expense.

Want to bet? There’s no point, let’s play evidentiary medicine instead.

Send us (at least one) example of someone small becoming big and maintaining this advantage without being any different from competitors, apart from a high skill in masterful client data manipulation.

Any industry, any country, anytime.

Just one example. It needs to have numbers, though, Carl! Boring, primitive, verifiable numbers.

You think that in internet-marketing without any location binding, and limitless assortment width everything is different? This is a topic for another article, but it’s basically the same. The location is, in a loose sense, a position in Google search results.

In any case, if costs of these sketchy combinations with client data can somehow be evaluated, the efficiency can’t. Only some concocting opinions, supposedly justified by manipulations in the right direction with arrays of uninterpretable numbers.

If sales increase, then "there, see how well it’s going? That’s because… Here, look at these graphs". If they decrease, "there, see how your competitors have an even bigger decrease? If it wasn’t for us… Here, look at these graphs".

Moreover, similar freeloaders, which infest the competitors, say the same about you.

In the context of cybernetics, the accumulated Everests of client information are not information at all: it’s an non-interpretable white noise. Simply speaking — garbage.

"Does the client business future belong to personalization?"

Just another myth without any ground, expect for the ignorance of target audience.

What is "personalization"?

Basically, an ambition of automatic USP (unique selling point or marketing positioning) adaptation to the demands of a specific client.

But… if USP needs "adaptation", than it’s not a USP, it’s dog crap.

Has anyone ever heard that Steve Jobs "adapted" the iPhone to individual needs of hundreds of millions of people?

Or was it completely the opposite?

Can you even imagine the existence of millions of USP (millions, Carl!) in one separate company?

Whereas, more than 90% companies on the planet don’t have a USP at all. Not a single one.

That is why they regularly depart this life, unable to explain the reason to purchase their wonderful products to clients.

For Jobs and his iPhone a single USP was enough.

October 25, 2016