Where is the Line Between Relevant and Spooky?


[Robert J. Moore, YouTube, 6:39]

Continuing the conversation with Robert J. Moore, CEO, RJMetrics after how to start a company by replacing your own job and how Fab.com raised $40 million with data.

The next logical question is where do we draw the line between using business intelligence to be relevant, and where does it get spooky?

A recent Pew Research study that maintains real people don't want to broadcast where they are. How about the generation who grew up with digital technologies?

What is most successful in business intelligence to drive transactions?

Email messages are still exceptionally effective at getting someone's attention with relevant content. When you're smart at figuring out intent and relevance, you get on people's "to do" list by making a well timed offer.

Social media is good as an organic tool, yet you could be catching people at a time that is not convenient to them on a crowded Facebook wall, or not at all. Catch people at the wrong time and your message is gone.

The inbox is still the place where there is less competition for attention (when executed well), and people have demonstrated some level of interest with their opt-in. And the message here can be saved for later.

Where's the line between welcome/expected and spooky for targeted messages?

There is (almost) an expectation that when people are ready to buy, brands get that and are ready with the appropriate message. The line between relevant and spooky, of course, is different from consumer to consumer.

The expectation is that the information being collected about you should be used to benefit you in some way.

So there are people who are okay with being targeted (like in the Target example from the recent book The Power of Habit) — and actually expect it, for example younger people who grew up with the Internet — and people who don't like it.

Those who are concerned by targeting are fewer and fewer with new generations of digital shoppers.

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