Facebook: 'People expect brands to treat them as individuals' #web25

Facebook: 'People expect brands to treat them as individuals'
Facebook: 'People expect brands to treat them as individuals'

As the World Wide Web turns 25 today, Facebook's VP EMEA, Nicola Mendelsohn, looks back at the personal touch in business once lost, but now regained thanks to the internet.

Follow our coverage of 25 years of the World Wide Web here #web25

I remember when I was young, I used to go to my newsagents to buy sweets. Mildred, the old lady who was there, always greeted me with a smile and Cola cubes in her hands, as she knew exactly what I wanted.

It used to be all business was personal. People went to their local stores where they had a relationship with the owner.  It wasn’t just that they knew each other by name but that the storeowner could anticipate the customer’s needs. 

He knew when a new shipment of something came in or when someone was likely to need a replacement. He knew what you needed before you did.

The personal touch was lost but brands were built

The onset of mass media meant that businesses could reach lots of people more efficiently. For years, they could reach nearly every household by advertising on just three channels.

It made reaching lots of people easier but it also meant that marketing became less personalised as messages were created for mass audiences. There was no good way to personalise marketing.

The era of mass media made brands possible but they couldn’t be personal

This ushered in the era of brands. Marketers built brands and nurtured them over years to foster a sense of personal connection to the products you used everyday. The era of mass media made brands possible but they couldn’t be personal. Now they can. 

This is especially true as people spend more of their time and attention on mobile – a completely personalised screen they carry with them and check constantly. 

The industry is shifting back to a more personal way of marketing and it represents one of the biggest shifts in marketing in generations. This is the rise of the personalisation era. 

Technology has brought back that "sweet shop" personalisation

It will combine a personal touch to business with the scale and efficiency of mass media. And it will be made possible by technology. Facebook, which is built around people and the things they care about, is uniquely positioned to lead this shift.  

Consumers are demanding this. As the internet has evolved to be based on real identity and personalised experiences, people have gained a voice that can drive real impact in their communities and their lives.

They expect the brands they choose to treat them as individuals, to respond when they have feedback and to be accountable for their actions. In short, they want marketing that is for them. This is the new reality for marketers, as they can combine real identity, massive scale and the best targeting available.

Flying saucers and penny sweets are still my favourites

As technology allows us to continue leveraging our understanding of people to make marketing more personal – and do it at massive scale – we will dramatically improve the quality of ads and drive even greater results for marketers. Today, my new "Mildred" is Ms Kibble Sweet Shop – https://www.facebook.com/MrsKibbles

Flying saucers and penny sweets are still my favourites.

As an industry, we’re shifting back to a more personal way of marketing, leveraging technology to bring a personal touch to business with the scale and efficiency of mass media. We are making marketing personal, again.

 Follow our coverage of 25 years of the World Wide Web here #web25

MKOweb25

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