Compelling Advertising and the Technology Trap

A recent Subaru ad clearly demonstrates the power of emotional selling. The ad which features a dad giving his car keys to his young daughter on her first solo drive is simple, interruptive and relevant which makes it memorable to the target market and likely to build sales for the brand.

But, I am not in the target market of young families, which emphasizes the point I often make that to be successful communicating and building a brand, focus must be on customers that companies sell to. Reaching customers not in the target audience is just "spill out" which increases the cost of touching likely buyers, a critical consideration but one rarely considered in budgeting.

In my last post I addressed the double blind trap of technology, specifically the need for companies to selectively exploit technology to be commercially competitive versus the legal risk of using technology, intended or not, to effectively abuse employees or customers. This might be applicable here.

Consider a recently published debate by Wired  about the death of the Internet, namely the end of open source and evolution to "semi-closed" platforms (think Apps) like Facebook, Twitter or Pandora. It is worth reading and thinking. Google and others are collecting massive amounts of data about how people use the web, shorthand for cognitive and emotive behavior. In turn, those data can be intrusive if abused or highly valuable services if applied "properly". That is the trap.

So what impact would the Subaru ad -- and what profit impact would happen -- if the company were able to target families down to the individual with girls pre - driving age, middle income with known behavior patterns that favor safety versus adventure, yet with kids that both respect those values and have a personal sense of self reliance? Algorithms analyzing keystrokes are giving clues to those conjoint behaviors which of course deliver messages to you, email, text or social.

Today, as never before, we have the ability to narrow focus the message with little "spill out" wasted on unlikely buyers. Now if the car ad was about Ferrari, it'd be a whole different story.

Is this a great time to be in brand marketing? Without a doubt.

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