Controlling choice online

I sat through a Sitecore content management system presentation this morning where the representative used every buzzword under the Sun. In it he spruiked the software’s Web Engagement Management capabilities, tracking and profiling visitors and serving up personalised content without them having control over the process. As he related how delighted he was that sites like Amazon knew what he liked and used that to tempt him to buy more I joked to colleagues that the definition of a marketing person is someone who doesn’t find personalisation creepy. I do.

I guess that I appreciate personalisation of a non-financial service, such as a government website serving up only those documents and forms I need based upon information that I have given them. But I generally reject website applications that try to lead me on a path based upon what the site thinks I like. The problem is that you lose trust in them. What are they trying to hide from you?

If a website serves up different information based upon personalisation, what happens if you want something different? It’s like foreign airline websites that only give you flights out of Australia when what you actually want to look up is for their fares domestically or between other countries. It really irritates me.

Not everyone obviously. Apparently regional personalisation worked wonders for EasyJet, filling the equivalent of two extra aircraft a day (or was it every hour?). For me, I would rather have the power of choice. Not them.

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