OpenID + Data Portability + Mobile Number + Persona Control = Personalized Marketing
The original idea behind OpenID (much like Microsoft Passport) was to provide a single login to allow user-members to go from site to site without having to sign-in to each one separately. Now that browsers keep track of your login information the original goal is lost and yet Google has committed to OpenID and recently joined the Data Portability conversation. This along with the Android project and Google’s effort to keep Verizon honest with respect to the FCC mandated open C-Block Spectrum, the goal of a personalized marketing (specifically through advertising) is in sight.
I recently talked with Richard Eittreim formerly of Medio about his mobile search efforts for partners such as Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Without going into detail; it was amazing what they knew. They obviously track your physical location and they know what you bought, what terms you searched on and what links you selected; all connected by your mobile number. Mobile already has behavioral tracking and online businesses want to follow.
Given this, it’s no surprise that Google is pushing into the wireless space. As the mobile world and the online world become one, I believe a person’s cell and their OpenID will become one and the same. This combined with the data portability project, which essentially says that you own your online identity and can take it wherever you would like, sets the stage for a personalized marketing experience.
The point is that companies can get information about your online (mobile/static) behavior and then utilize that information to create your online persona and then send you personalized offers via the mediums you utilize the most (video, LBS, etc). I’m also of the opinion that we as customers should partner with companies to help create this online persona, notifying businesses of when we receive an ill-targeted offer. We should also constantly update our online persona profile based on our needs.
A recent study by Donovan Neale-May entitled The Power of Personalization shows that most people are ready for personalized marketing and yet execution is lacking. (I also believe that deep customer information is lacking but that is for another post.) Consumers need to be approached in a way that they feel like they are sharing their information; not forfeiting it. This is difficult because people are dealing with a company and not an individual. The best way to do this is to give them control of their online persona and provide marketing materials based on when and where they are. Companies may balk at this customer control but this on-demand model is the foundation of the Internet and search.
To Summarize: OpenID + Data Portability + Mobile Number + Persona Control = Personalized Marketing