How Behavior Will Shape Media

Courtship behavior in Indian Ring necked parakeets
Image by Desert_photographer

If social brought conversations to the last media revolution, then integrating social data into digital media will bring behavior targeting to the next one.

As big data gets more intelligent and we surrender privacy to our digital devices, brands will leverage our individual buying behavior.

I’ve begun playing with the Passport feature on the new version of iOS. While it’s not ready for prime time, Passport offers a glimpse into the future. The mobile phone wallet mirrors international trends of paperless, credit card-less money. Obviously, the apps record every transaction I make, creating a behavioral profile.

A behavior profile for a brand is priceless when it comes to database marketing. The behavior profile allows brands to deliver the ultimate outcome of marketing automation, marketing to the one.

While behavioral targeting has been around for a while, it is becoming increasingly accessible to brands thanks to big data.

Behaviorial marketing combines a couple of theories in the field. Understanding them helps grasp what will surely become a common place approach to consumer and low-dollar transactional business-to business-marketing in the next few years.

Permission Marketing

Market Fresh Apples
Image by Susquehanna River Valley

Seth Godin’s Permission based marketing theory dates back to the late 90s. This assumes you cannot market to someone unless they give permission or opt in.

The mobile device is the ultimate personal device. For example, any application on Passport accesses my data solely with my permission.

Similarly, most people are not willing to give mobile numbers to many applications or brands for texting purposes (In my case, TripIt and Verizon Wireless are the exceptions). But, they are willing to give almost any brand to email to send bacon or spam content.

Millennials are more likely to break this generalization and accept text marketing.
As time progresses, more text marketing will develop, but it will suffer from permission limitations.

This is critical for marketers to understand, as mobile has become a dominant interactive form for online brands. Further complicating matters, customers are beginning to understand the value of their data.

One to One Marketing

I'm on the road of least resistance. I'd rather give up then give in to this. So promise me only one thing would you... Just don't ever make me promises...
Image by ubermommy

When the .com era broke open, the ultimate vision for the internet was an ability to market on one-to-one basis. Marketing to the one was popularized by Drew Bartkiewicz and Bill Zujewsk.

One-to-one marketing involves building unique marketing touches for people based on your database. These touches are supposed to be unique, relevant and contextual, creating a sense of relationship and meaning in the communication.

At the heart of marketing automation is one-to-one; the belief that you can develop a) programs smart enough to specify images, messaging and sentences, and b) that those messages will resonate and become welcomed by customers. Automation has further to go, but recent advances in big data and automation make this tangible.

Behavioral Media

Social media revolves around interactions between two or more people. Behavioral media will generate itself based on algorithmic pattern recognition within someone’s data footprint.

That data will be provided on a permission basis, at least from a legal standpoint (ah yes, those fine legal documents known as Terms of Service). Resulting media will be uniquely customized to each user’s data patterns with calls-to-action based on likely outcomes and paths. That means unique photos, deals, content, and yes, timing of communication,will be served based on individual profile data.

This data driven media will be somewhat or completely unique to the individual’s behavior pattern. Hopefully, with a good strategist behind the effort, stakeholders will find it valuable and non-intrusive.

If brands abuse their permission to data access, they will have retention issues. Brands will lose repeat customers and individual permission to access data.

In essence, brands are allowed into someone’s circle of trust (I’m having a Bobby De Niro day). Violations are reciprocated with the loss of the customer relationship.

I think behavioral media will become something we see more frequently with each passing year, certainly commonplace by 2017. It’s really exciting [and scary] to me.

What do you think?