Better access to customer data and the presence of more smart, connected devices has made it easier than ever for brands to deliver attentive and intimate customer experiences. Yet as tactics like geo-targeting and hyper-personalized marketing campaigns become more common, digital leaders need to understand how to use the knowledge they’re gaining about their audience to offer thoughtful solutions to the real problems they face, not make them paranoid that machines are watching their every move. Otherwise, some customers may feel as if their lives are being invaded rather than improved and shy away from how much they use technology to engage with brands.
On the other end of the personalization vs. privacy debate, Adam Wolf, CTO of global digital marketing agency Wunderman Thompson is perhaps the furthest from a technophobe as someone can be. Rather than feeling nervous or “creeped out” by all the ways technology is now being used to understand consumer preferences, Adam’s excited about the possibilities of how these advancements can make our lives easier. It’s fitting then, that the company recently merged with digital agency POSSIBLE, a brand name that evokes exploration of the unknown and seeking out never-before-seen solutions.
In 2019, POSSIBLE (a Wunderman Thompson Company) was named Acquia Partner of the Year in the Americas for their work creating data-driven emotional experiences and fulfilling brand promises for some of the world’s most ambitious organizations including Microsoft, Adidas, Lenovo and Mars. For our Partners in Digital Experience series, we spoke with Adam about how advances in modern technology are allowing people to navigate the world in new ways and build trusted relationships with brands that actively improve their lives.
“Devices and new consumer touchpoints are getting to know you better and know about your interests and preferences,” said Adam. While he acknowledges that many people feel uneasy about sharing their data with companies, he fully embraces this shift and feels that it’s inevitable for anyone who wants to be engaged in the digital world. Adam has even gone one step further in his quest to gain personal empowerment from technology by actively engaging with brands in a way to give them the most relevant information about his interests.
“I hate to shop. So instead of me going and shopping at a bunch of sites online, I try to go to one or two places that I know have a pretty good media program. I’ll look at a few products that I'm interested in, but I’m not going to buy them right away,” he explained.
As he puts it, “I let Facebook and my other social feeds display the specials without having to search for them. These platforms will just directly ‘feed’ me what it thinks I want.” Not one to wait on the sidelines as devices collect his data, he’s become an active participant in designing his own digital experiences through better informing those algorithm-enabled recommendations and letting the platforms go to the trouble of sorting through products for him.