THE INTERNET OF THINGS HAS BECOME THE INTERNET OF YOU.
By Michael D’Antonio
There is no such thing as the internet. Only your internet. The titans of the worldwide web have spent the last 10 years buiIding digital ecosystems algorithmically designed to learn and be built around our specific likes and preferences. The presupposition is that if marketers provide us with more of what we seem to like, we will be more predisposed to buy, opt-in, share and/or participate.
This is intuitive and ubiquitous – from Amazon’s people-who-have-bought-this-have-also-bought feature, to Google’s bots and retargeting tools, to Facebook’s proprietary segmentation and micro-targeting capabilities, the intentional inertia of social and digital marketing is clearly built around showering consumers with what they already know and like. That is, we are inundated with marketing messages that reinforce what is comfortable. The net result is an aggressive marketing machine essentially dedicated to consumer comfort and complacency.
So, is this a good thing? That is, should the ultimate goal of machine marketing be to simply surround consumers with things they already know and like? And if so - is there still room to provoke, to explore, to expand a consumer’s world in some meaningful way? If we simply reinforce what already is – how do we get to what is next? Can there be genuine disruption in an ecosystem designed to feed complacency? Can there be a campaign that asks us to Think Different if the industry is dedicated to having people think the same? Can there be a campaign that has the candor and bravery to tell people something they need to hear, not just what they want to hear, like get off your couch and Just Do It.
The logical extension of a hyper-vigilant dedication to complacency is a slippery slope toward pandering – and that could lead to tactics that begin to feel more desperate than insightful like say putting your customers’ names on your soda bottles or renaming your beer America.
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