Have you ever Googled “How to download your Facebook data” or “How to download your Google data”? Well, I have for some of my Google data. They’ll tell you where you were on what day, doing what. You’ll find every single photo. I was appalled.

But then I thought about how I can go on Chrome, type two letters and how it will bring up the URL I’m looking for. I wouldn’t want to lose that; I would be willing to give up some privacy or chance digital paranoia to have that simple convenience. That being said, when it comes down to companies asking for this data on us, there has to be value provided for it.

BE MORE RELEVANT AND LESS ANNOYING

To me, personalization has often been referenced as getting that “Dear Sig” at the top of an email instead of being addressed with something generic like “Dear User”. That’s really only a minor part of it. Personalization has more to do with relevance or sending things that are relevant to the receiver. That means that in addition to writing “Dear Sig”, they’ll also put some things that state that they have some information about me. But it’s really more about making sure that what they’re sending me is relevant and not sending me things that are not relevant.

When the things you are getting are relevant to you, they are much less annoying than being bombarded with promotional images, emails, or texts that have nothing to do with you. I’ve heard people complain about some of the ads they were shown on Facebook, and I wasn’t sure what to think. I have bought more things than I would want to admit from such ads. I don’t mind them because they are actually stuff I’m interested in. Whether I click on them or not, I’m not bothered by them. I won’t start creating negative mental associations with them like I might if they hadn’t been relevant to me.

PERSONALIZE TO ENGAGE

If you think about the way that someone typically starts engaging with a professional trade association, it’s all about taking. They go to your website, start taking stuff off of it, looking at the content. Eventually, they will think to go to your event, sponsor something, or get a certification.

We want them fully engaged. We want them to eventually want to give back, become a board member, or lend a helping hand. The goal is to get them from this stage where they are only taking from you to where they’re giving back. The goal is to make them feel strongly about the organization. That starts with giving them what they want, what is relevant or interesting to them. That starts with paying attention. The more they want to interact, the better, because every single touchpoint should help form an attachment to the association.

So is personalization creepy? I’d say it definitely is, but when there is value, sacrificing my privacy for convenience is a trade-off I’m willing to have. Is it the same for you?

Sig is the Membership Software Evangelist for Community Brands, where he focuses on thought leadership through public speaking and writing. Sig has been working with professional and trade associations for over 26 years and is inspired by being part of the association community. Sig was the founder of NimbleUser, which was acquired by Community Brands in 2017. He frequently speaks on the culture of innovation, association technology trends and the human aspects of technology interactions. He has presented at CESSE, ASAE Tech, AMS Fest and a variety of user conferences.

Sig is the Membership Software Evangelist for Community Brands, where he focuses on thought leadership through public speaking and writing. Sig has been working with professional and trade associations for over 26 years and is inspired by being part of the association community. Sig was the founder of NimbleUser, which was acquired by Community Brands in 2017. He frequently speaks on the culture of innovation, association technology trends and the human aspects of technology interactions. He has presented at CESSE, ASAE Tech, AMS Fest and a variety of user conferences.

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