Here’s an interesting little marketing technique: Counter-Googling, where companies ‘google’ their customers to offer them personalized services.
With consumers disclosing their most intimate secrets online (voluntarily!), Google has essentially created a ‘domestic database’, i.e. a world-wide database loaded with your customers’ details and profiles, with a depth of information your company’s database can only dream of.
So instead of consumers Googling you before they buy your services, you should Google THEM, and instantly get more personal information than you’d ever be able to capture with traditional 1:1 in an entire life-time. TRENDWATCHING.COM has dubbed this emerging trend COUNTER-GOOGLING, and the opportunities are tasty!
A real-life COUNTER-GOOGLING example? The Bel Air Hotel in LA already Googles first-time guests upon arrival, based on their reservation details (name and address), leading to personalized services like assigning guests a room with morning sun if Googling shows the guest enjoys jogging early in the day (source: http://blog.outer-court.com).
While some might see this as just another form of spam, I have to admit that I could see it being at least slightly more tolerable than what I’m getting now. Rather than filling my e-mail inbox with ads for generic viagra, penis enlargment pills, or dietary concerns, I’d be getting offers tailored more toward my particular interests and needs.
Now, I still hate spam, and unsolicited offers — even if they are tailored to me — are very likely to end up being dumped straight into my trash folder. However, if there were some form of ‘opt-in’ possibility, then I can see possible applications of this technique that might be workable.
…bloggers, savvy consumers by nature, will no doubt introduce a ‘no unsollicited sales’ seal, the moment they grow tired of COUNTER-GOOGLING, making it clear what’s off limits and what’s fair game. Smart bloggers could even, in a dedicated section of their page or site, list the goods and services they don’t mind getting personalized offers for!
At minimum, it’s an interesting idea, and I won’t be at all surprised to see it in practice before very long at all.