Dec 08 2014

Businesses Must Capitalize on Digital Immersion but Avoid Being Creepy

Digital technology offers great marketing opportunities, but companies must exercise caution in how they connect with customers.

Digital technology has transformed virtually every facet of our lives – from coffee purchases to drone delivery, from wearable technology to connected appliances. As Nathan Coutinho, senior manager for strategy at CDW, pointed out at the Future of IT event at the Feinberg Theater in Chicago, this technological immersion has upsides and downsides.

While it’s great that users have instant access to all sorts of data on their tablets, phones and wearables, all of the alerts and push notifications create a lot of digital noise.

“When users get overloaded, they will delete your app,” Coutinho said, cautioning businesses that are developing strategies for connecting with customers. And though digital technology offers some great new ways to market to customers, enterprises need to be careful. Coutinho cited overtargeting as a problem — that is, companies drilling down too far into users’ digital activities with marketing tactics to connect with their customers, such as designing email promotions that are triggered based on what users are watching on their digital TVs.

The line between personal and creepy is razor-thin,” he explained. As a best practice, he suggested that companies strike a balance between personal and randomized targeting in their marketing efforts to avoid the “creepy” label.

To make the most of this digital immersion, businesses should do the following, Coutinho suggested: rethink IT practices across the enterprise; realign IT so that it actively supports business goals; automate, orchestrate and hybridize data center processes where possible.

Watch his full speech from the Future of IT event below.