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Facebook Cautions Against the Pitfalls of Too Much Personalization in New Report



Personalization has become a buzzword in digital marketing in recent times, with every other marketing guru urging people to connect with other people, to be more human, and to address each individual’s specific needs.

And that’s reasonable advice, to a degree. But as Facebook notes in its latest report, it’s not always applicable, and in some cases, increased personalization can actually have negative impacts on campaign performance.

As explained by Facebook:

A common belief is that personalization means providing completely different offerings to each consumer, but this doesn’t always create the most desirable impact for a brand. We’re currently witnessing brands that have built hugely successful businesses over decades on the back of mass marketing suddenly pivot towards extreme personalization for small niches of consumers, only to see disappointing returns. Industry buzzwords such as “1:1 marketing” are contributing to the assumption that this is the way to go for all brands – which is far from the truth.”

That’ll be a blow to a lot of keynote speakers out there.

Facebook says that while personalizing your outreach can have distinct benefits, each brand and/or product fits onto a “personalization spectrum”, which ranges from “same offerings for all” to “tailored offering for each individual”. And it’s important to understand where your business lies before designing a personalization strategy. 

“Here’s an example of a product at each end of the personalization spectrum: A mouthwash brand with the single core benefit of “freshness” and a few flavor variants at best is unlikely to have consumers with vastly different needs they can cater to. A brand like this would fall on the left side of the spectrum, providing a similar offering for large consumer segments. However, footwear brands have more complex matrices for their offerings depending on factors such as their identified target segment’s lifestyle and gender, and should tailor their offerings to provide more nuanced personalization in sizes, colors, styles, heel height and more.”

Facebook's personalization spectrum

It makes a lot of sense – Facebook, essentially, says that despite the buzz around personalization, the actual practicality of such is relative to the product, and then, further than that, the audience for each.

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Brands with products that have multiple core benefits, several “benefit” variants, or a need to serve varying core messages to different segments within their brand’s target audience are likely to benefit from raising their personalization game.”


Facebook advises that businesses should analyze the extent to which personalization is relevant to their offerings, then, once determined that there is a need for such segmentation, that they should drill-down into their data sources in order to identify the markets they want to appeal to with variable messaging.

Facebook data pyramid

But Facebook again advises caution around the over-use of certain segmentations, simply because you can:

While planning your segments, do also consider how segments link back to your overall brand growth strategy. For example, if your brand needs to drive higher relevance with urban youth, having them as a separate segment with distinct messaging is likely to benefit the brand. However, purely “passion point” or interest-based segments with no clear business-linked hypothesis behind them can often be counter-productive. We often come across definitions such as “music lovers”, “fashionistas” and “excitement seekers”, and encourage marketers to exercise caution before using them.”

From here, Facebook says that it offers a range of tools to hone in on audience segments, including the data resources available at Facebook IQ, its Audience Insights tools which highlight relevant interests, demographics and behaviors, and then, finally, Facebook’s advanced Audience Selection Tools for ads.

Facebook audience tools

This is some solid, interesting advice from Facebook – and while it does also acknowledge that personalization has been proven to drive significant increases in revenue when used well, there are limits, and points at which its no longer valuable. 

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Basically, personalization is not necessary for every product, within every possible consumer segment, and it’s important for marketers to stay aligned with their overall strategies, and offering value points, in order to maximize performance. 

You can read Facebook’s full personalization report here.



Jack Dorsey Exits Twitter Board, Clearing the Way for the Elon Musk Era at the App



Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

While there’s no new news on the Elon Musk takeover saga, we do have another reminder that Twitter’s leadership team is never going to be the same, regardless of what comes next, with co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey today leaving the Twitter board, effective immediately.

Dorsey’s full exit removes another big chunk of experience from the company – over the past two weeks, Twitter has lost:

  • Consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour, who’d worked at Twitter for four years
  • Head of revenue product Bruce Falck (5 years)
  • Ilya Brown, a VP of product management (6 years)
  • Katrina Lane, VP of Twitter Service (1 year)
  • Max Schmeiser, head of data science (2 years)

That said, Dorsey’s move, isn’t a surprise.

Back in November, when Dorsey announced that he was standing down as Twitter CEO, he also noted that he would stay on Twitter’s board till around ‘May-ish’ to help incoming CEO Parag Agrawal and incoming Twitter Board chair Bret Taylor with their respective transitions.

Of course, back then, Dorsey couldn’t have predicted the chaos on the horizon, but despite the distractions of an imminent takeover, Dorsey has decided to stick with his original plan, and step away from the platform that he helped build.

That clears the path for a new era under Elon Musk, who has vowed to make significant changes to the way that Twitter operates – though of late, Musk seems to be more distracted by stats on population decline and political conspiracies than he does in completing the Twitter deal.

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On May 13th, Musk said that his Twitter takeover offer was effectively ‘on hold’ pending more data from Twitter on its fake profile count, which it pegs at 5% of active users. Many users have since shared partial evidence that, in their opinion, proves that this number is not correct, while Twitter itself has maintained that there’s no such thing as ‘on hold’ in the takeover process, and that it’s preparing for the deal to close sometime soon.

Musk says that he won’t pay full price for something that’s not what he believed he was purchasing.


But then again, Musk also waived doing detailed due diligence on Twitter’s business, in order to reach an agreement faster, which means that he may be tied to the purchase anyway, regardless of what Twitter or anyone else may find here.

For his part, Dorsey has been a strong advocate for Musk, and his interest in Twitter, and has noted several times that he believes Musk is the best option to ‘save’ the company.

Now Dorsey is getting out of the way to let that happen, which will mean that none of Twitter’s four founders remain in any position to advise or guide the platform in any direct capacity from now on.

That could be a good thing. Twitter, of course, is a far cry from what it was in the beginning, and maybe now it needs to detach from its founding concepts to reach its next stage.

But again, that’s a lot of experience heading out the door, with current CEO Agrawal also on the chopping block, according to Musk’s statements.

How that impacts Twitter’s future direction is hard to say. Again, Musk has already flagged significant changes, but without experienced voices advising him on what’s happened in the past, he could be doomed to repeat previous mistakes, impeding the company’s progress even more.

Or maybe it makes things easier, without the constraints of past limitations holding things up. I would lean towards the former, but clearly, Musk has his own ideas about how he’s going to transform the app, once he does, eventually, take control.


Which seems like more of a ‘when’ than ‘if’, but maybe Musk has some other trick up his sleeve to either reduce his offer price or get out of the Twitter deal entirely.

Either way, massive changes are coming to the app, which could alter the way that it’s used entirely.

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