Why Targetting Is The Wrong Marketing Mindset.
In a presentation today, Microsoft's president of online search Dr Qi Lu emphasised the need for their focus to be on user experience rather than driven by data.
But what troubled me was that he kept using the dreaded words consumer and targetting and implied that effective targetting of consumers was the marketer's holy grail. Indeed, he spoke ominously of the creation of "computational behavioural models to predict human intent".
Targetting just oozes all the wrong connotations: the passive customer, the picking off of individuals as they stray into your corporate cross-hairs, not to mention the assumption that you know how all customers behave.
It's too confrontational, too aggressive and too interruptive - even if I search for your product online, it doesn't mean I want you to market to me right now. You don't and cannot know my motivation.
Far better then to use all these technological capabilities of which Dr Lu spoke to be constantly available/accessible, to be where the prospective customer is likely to be and to be listening for their cues.
Reverse the metaphor. Think of your product/service as the customer's target and your marketing as a way of perfecting their aim.