More Than Diversity – A Layer Above Personalization

My most recent column at Print Media Centr was inspired by a terrible Pepsi commercial that was built around a Kardashian character and an ersatz protest. I wrote most of it back on April 4th, while the controversy was at its hottest, but I wrote from a place of curiosity about how professionals in the integrated marketing community I participate in think about how their organizations handle these issues. I also shared a few of my general thoughts.

Putting Pepsi aside, the most important point, for professionals operating in good faith, concerns our approach to ideas.

Marketing is not created in a vacuum. No ideas or art are developed in isolation. Whatever we think of our own brilliance, we do not create out of nothing. Want to make an apple pie from scratch? Not going to happen unless you can also whip up a universe.

And more specifically, with regard to marketing, I discuss a layer above personalization.

We talk so much about personalization. We use tools like Marketo and Hubspot to make sure we’re getting the right message to the right person at the right time. We have AR technology allowing people to receive calls to action personalized by attributes including their location and behavior. Well, what we’re discussing here is a layer to address on our way to personalization for the individual.

Forget about humanity (you hate people). People of the source and their experiences, contexts, cultural products, etc. are part of the real world just like purchase histories and location data. You want to produce work that will resonate as appropriate for the world in which it will be released. Just as your time, location, and behavior-informed call-to-action in AR would not prompt someone to buy a bathing suit during a blizzard, you do not want to produce work that simply does not belong in the world that will receive it. Again, you do not create from nothing. From the world your ideas will come, and to the world your ideas will return to be judged.

Read the whole thing at Print Media Centr and let me know what you think: