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Personalization is Everything

Another day, another opportunity for a radio broadcaster to argue that Pandora-style personalization is “only a feature.”

“Only a feature.” What an odd phrase!

Especially coming from an industry which too often works overtime to avoid anything personalized whatsoever.

From my perspective, personalization is not “only a feature,” it is the natural state of things. It is the essential feature that all consumers demand.

Think about it.

What is your wardrobe but a personalized selection?

Look in your driveway – even if that car is the same model your neighbor has, it’s personalized your way.

Compare your phone to your friend’s phone, and notice how few of the apps you have in common.

What food do you eat, what TV shows do you watch (and when do you watch them), what movies are your favorites, what songs populate your personal playlists?

Even the action of button-punching a car radio is a desperate attempt to create a personalized experience out of one that stubbornly refuses the effort.

Personalization is everywhere. Personalization is everything.

There are billions of dollars running through TV advertising, but there are billions more to be made if the audience can be segmented and advertisers can pick and choose who sees their ads. Its not a difficult concept – a TV can become addressable by recognizing the viewer and making a selection in the set-top-box. The commercials loaded during the national or local pods can be targeted based on who is in the room. There will still be some “waste” since more than one person is likely to be in the room, but by adding a simple addressable element to TV you could likely see an increase of 10-15% as a premium for pricing and that translates to hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.

Buying “audience,” not “ratings.”

In other words, “personalization.” As advertisers charge ahead, you do not want to be left behind.

It’s time to give more consumers what they personally want, not simply what the masses communally want.

And the easier personalization becomes, the less there is “work” involved, and the more convenient a personalized experience becomes, the more challenged will be those brands who steadfastly refuse to play the only game any consumer ultimately wants:

The ubiquitous expression of “me.”

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