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The difference between being specific and creepy

Are you familiar with personalization in marketing?

If not, it’s when platforms and websites tailor their messaging or design to suit their specific users.

It might be done through retargeting (with information collected on your interests they are able to “follow you” online and show you what matches them) or through personalization features. But basically the more data businesses have about you, the more they’re able to customize the way they try to sell you stuff.

Most of it is freakishly accurate. You probably thought that your phone was listening to you right?

But others are not so, and push people away.

I know first hand. A big part of my job is to look online for my client’s competitors reviews or their websites, and Google starts thinking I’m interested in ukuleles or used golf balls (two of my ecommerce clients).

Not the case.

At the end of the day machines can’t think like humans, yet.

Let’s try a quick experiment:

Copy this URL

google.com/settings/u/0/ads

paste it into your browser and take a look… if you’re logged into your Google account, that’s all the stuff they’re targeting you with.

Pretty scary huh?

It’s a lot of it too. And if you take notice, most of it is not really applicable or super generic. They’re trying to cast a wide net.

My point with this is, there’s a better, far more reliable way to personalize your messaging.

And it has been used by copywriters for ages.

It’s using your customers’ language.

Which should make collecting it (Voice of Customer Data or VOC) one of your top priorities.

Talk to customers, survey them, go and look at what competitors’ customers say about them, about the market and about you, too. Using the real target audience’s language and unique sayings, is the ultimate form of personalization.

It’s also resilient because it’s unlikely to be based on passing trends and more on solid fundamentals. It’s your weapon against skepticism and freaking people out with robotic, scary personalization.

If you need help mapping out how your target audience speaks so you can mirror it to them, get in touch.

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Every day (yes!) I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.