I used to continuously receive inappropriate messages via social media. That stopped but now I am receiving them via a music streaming service.
The pre-roll adverts on the YouTube I watched about two years were always for Clearblue pregnancy tests, the super accurate ones that tell you how many weeks pregnant you are. These adverts were jarring. Who sits at the kitchen table with a pee-covered stick in their hand? Also, at the time, they weren’t for me. But then they stopped.
Now adverts of a similar kind are grating my nerves. Spotify is telling me which playlists I should use to get my baby to sleep. Again, not for me right now.
I get it. I fit the profile. I am a woman of child-bearing age. I am a prospective customer.
These kinds of adverts wouldn’t bother me at all on the television, on the radio or on a billboard.
That’s because they are aimed at everybody, not just to me.
However, YouTube/Google and Spotify have a pretty good idea of who I am based on what I watch and listen to. And they’ve got me so wrong. It got me wondering about how I have been segmented.
What identifying points were used to determine that two years ago I was desperate to know how far along I was? Which markers indicated that I need to have some lullabies in my music library?
It is a small irritation but nothing debilitating. But it could have been.
Last Sunday, Mother’s Day was celebrated in many parts of the world including the US, Canada, Australia, India, China, as well as most of the Caribbean and Latin America. For many people, it is a hard time. They may have lost their mother, or might desperately want to be one. They might have lost a child or might not be able to see their son or daughter anymore. Hearing or seeing constant reminders about Mother’s Day could serve as trauma triggers to them.
Marketers need to be more sensitive. London-based letterbox flower delivery company Bloom and Wild is taking this into account. In March it sent its customers an email from the customer experience manager asking if they wanted to opt-out of Mother’s Day messages. The email made it on to social media and received a lot of praise. There is also The Bereavement Register that aims to reduce the amount of direct mail that is sent to the families of people who have passed away.
As important as it is for companies and brands to target possible future consumers, it is just as important for those possible future consumers to be able to un-target themselves and take themselves out of the line of fire for certain types of messaging.