Reinforcing Personalization

The Lempert Report
July 28, 2017

One of the most eye opening outcomes from the recent Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City was just how much both retailers and brands were focused on personalization.

Martha Rodgers and Don Peppers in their stellar book One to One Marketing correctly predicted this evolution – albeit decades before the technologies existed to make it reality. Today, technology fueled by the Internet has given this a solid platform to move forward.

My first glimpse of how significantly personalization could change things goes back to when a group of us were launching TVFN, what’s now known as Food Network, for the Providence Journal newspaper. A technology firm had given a presentation suggesting that the network embed technology in the programs that would allow a viewer to use their remote to actually order the foods being shown in a recipe by simply pointing it at an image on the TV screen. Not so exciting now, but think back twenty years ago. And it still hasn’t happened in that way. Yes it’s commonplace online now, but still not as simply as when watching TV. Although Amazon’s Alexa holds imminent promise for this application

Fast-forward to today as Netflix is letting its younger viewers choose their own adventures, said Casey Newton in The streaming-video service is experimenting with new interactive shows geared toward kids. Viewers can use their device’s controller to make a series of choices throughout the shows, affecting where the stories go. If viewers wait too long to choose a direction, “Netflix will simply choose” for them. Netflix has decided to start with entertainment for kids, whom the company thinks will be receptive to the new format. According to Newton, “children’s exposure to interactive stories in video games and mobile apps has left them with an expectation that TV will behave the same way.”

Perhaps the time is ripe for the technology to be applied to recipes on TV.