Digital marketing industry experts all agree that personalization is at the top of every top marketer’s mind. But most marketers know that they aren’t quite there yet, limited by budgets, time, or skillsets.
However, the barrier on the path to true personalization is not organizational. It is cultural, based on the outmoded belief that the classic form of digital marketing—targeting—can derive relevance signals from data and create useful audience segments. It is limited, delivering a good but not earth-shattering uptick in response, because this model is missing the element most critical to personalization: the consumer’s perspective.
Beats Music takes a radically different approach to personalization, turning the classic digital marketing funnel literally on its head with a ‘Curate and Expand’ model. Beats’ approach is based on the belief that personalizing an art form requires genre experts to ‘DJ’ algorithms. Applying this logic to digital marketing personalization would start with the experts on consumers to curate their algorithms: the consumers themselves.
Against this context, it’s clear that the tenets of classic digital marketing are stuck in the old-school ‘Gather and Distill’ model—collecting as much consumer web data as possible and applying powerful algorithms to figure out audience segments, rather than understanding the person that technology is designed to serve.