Personal Regards

stanton kawerData and algorithms cannot replace brand experiences and customer relationships. By Stanton Kawer. Just as I sat down to write this article, an email flashed upon my screen with an offer just for me: Fly to Europe this year and earn 25,000 bonus airline miles. After reading only the subject of the email, I deleted it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that an email offer like this never would have enticed me to book a trip to Europe that I hadn’t already considered. While I do fly relatively often, and am a member of this particular airline’s loyalty program, I am not a fervent bonus-mile user. Still, I was targeted.

I don’t know what kind of algorithm decided that I was the best person to receive this particular offer, but I was left with two impressions: 1) Why can’t this airline offer me a better deal as a reward on the trips I want to take, when I want to take them?; and 2) Why don’t they stop cluttering my email box with content that is completely irrelevant?   This one errant email prompted me to conduct a quick scan of my inbox. Within a two-hour timeframe, I had received approximately 20 email offers. Every email was from a marketer from which I had purchased products within the past 24 months, but not one felt like anything more than the digital version of the old-time window signs at the local grocer.  continue

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