Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Targetted content

I've been thinking a lot recently about hitting my users with relevant content at the right moment. And, yes -- I mean a marketing message. BUT! And this is a big but! When you hit the right person with the right info at the right time, it ceases to be marketing, and starts being useful info...

I'm lucky in that I work in the entertainment content business (books, specifically) and most of my users are THRILLED to give me their data because they want to know when the next book by their favourite author is released. That's perceived to be valuable information by most of my users.

An email or an SMS as the new book hits stores is useful - particularly if I send a 20% off voucher at the same time.

I'm super aware, though, that the moment I start sending information that isn't valuable, I start marketing to them... And from there it's a very short stroll to unwelcome spam.

So I've been thinking about how to get the balance right. For example, what about other authors they might like? If I know that they enjoy Kathy Reichs and Karin Slaughter, it's a fair bet that they generally enjoy reading forensic procedurals - crime novels that have a heavy forensic component. So they'd probably also enjoy reading Simon Beckett (for example)...

Of course, the more info I have about your reading preferences, the more useful the information I send can be. But how to do that without entering big brother territory and asking for everything down to and including your shoe size?

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