Personalization vs. Personality

Our digital lives are characterized by personalization. We have become accustomed to any form of digitality adapting to our lives.

Rise of the Machines

With new algorithms, personal recommendations are getting better and better. Better than any human could make them by hand. At least as long as the content is objective - because even though many startups describe their technology as intelligent (what nonsense… 🙈), technical content remains soulless.

The machine lacks the “why”. Sure, an algorithm could also output why it recommends a specific content. How many data points are in the background. Which behavior of ours has led to the fact that we get red boots displayed on Zalando. And yet this recommendation remains purely machine-made.

The “human” factor

A human on the other hand recommends subjectively, he can’t help it. Based on his own opinion, he can recommend products, not based on data points, but based on gut feeling and experience. “I bought those red shoes too - perfect for muddy weather!”

Human recommendation has two limitations. First, the approach only scales in a limited way. Giving every Amazon customer a human-generated recommendation that is as appropriate as possible is simply not possible. Second, the recommendation is often fit by data points - ever tried to convince your girlfriend that the same pair of shoes is already in her closet 5x and another would be better? 😅

A machine doesn’t even try to do that. If the number of purchases fits, a similar shoe is suggested even for the sixth time.

Personalization vs. personality

So what is better to rely on? Algorithms and automation or emotions and subjectivity?

Modern marketing thrives on multiple channels, different approaches and splitting up the measures. Why personalization versus personality when personalization AND personality is also possible?

How the combination can look in practice can be seen in good newsletter offers. Automated article or product recommendations are possible. Individually tailored offers, the perfect info at the perfect time. Personally, we can then present a face behind our brand, a direct contact person and problem solver. Combined, it becomes a round overall package to pursue different goals - performance and branding combined.