Thursday, December 18, 2008

Digital Media - Local Becoming Personal

It is not enough to be local anymore. Sure it's nice that a website can capture your zip code and demographics and provide potentially locally relevant content and ads. But for content and advertising to be most effective and efficient. It must be able to understand the users' interests, needs, and wants as well. Let me give a few examples:

1. Your zip code may tell you that you live in the NYC metro, but it doesn't tell where you are going. Learning that you are seeking weather information in Southern Florida could lead to multiple relevant info to be pushed to your screen including airline and rental car information, dining and tourist suggestions, and packing tips including buying sunscreen, new bathing suit etc.

2. Searching for information on having a baby might just bring up information on buying a minivan for a new family. And once you've perhaps made a minivan purchase, that content would shift to service, after market devices for the car, or perhaps car information for a smaller second car.

3. Lastly, local news may not be relevant to you. Living in the market doesn't necessarily mean you care for the local info from that market. As an out of market sports fan, I would prefer to receive sports information for my teams and not just the area sport teams. I may live in NJ and prefer that any news only include NYC and NJ and exclude Westchester and Long Island. The content must be customized for my interests.

Websites are moving in that direction. As you search on iTunes or Amazon, you are presented with options and recommendations that may be of interest to you. It is becoming clear that all media content and advertising must continue to be personalized for the users' experience. Assuming that all local is relevant may be missing valuable opportunities to effectively reach them with information and messaging that will be of interest to them. We cannot continue to inundate the user with messages that may not be of interest to them. Too many non relevant messages cause us to turn off entirely and not see anything. Staying personal to the needs of the user will make the interaction, whether it is through the TV, web, or mobile phone, more valuable and more effective.

1 comment:

  1. Very astute. If its not personal, its not useful.