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Friday, 28 January 2011

THE POWER OF PERSONALIZATION

A few years ago I remember chatting to a mate about how websites would become more and more personalized (or indeed were already).  Think Amazon knowing that you buy John Denver DVD’s and recommending Johnny Cash as your next purchase option.
We wondered how we could take that progression into our sports clubs - as for sure there is a belief that you need to give people what they want (see earlier blog) - and as personalization becomes more and more available.
Unfortunately - my club’s resources prevented any real progression in my then role, and it seems that the sports industry as a whole has failed to make much effort to follow these trends - with bland belief that supporters will just ‘support’.
With Facebook’s personalization now gathering full momentum, all our web interactions will soon become more and more ‘personal’ to each of us.  As the web takes over a greater % of our daily activities - companies will be looking to personalize these interactions to garner the sale or to close the deal.
Sadly it seems that the majority of sports clubs look on powerless or certainly effortless - content to follow the trends about 10 years behind - or ‘safe in the knowledge’ that supporters will support - come rain/shine or poor internet experience.
Some of the major sports in US are making some progress and there is evidence that some folk are aware (from time to time I get a relevant-ish email from one of my registered websites) - but if I had a wand of sporting majesty that enabled me to take ultimate resource to a club that was determined to lead - then there is all sorts of fun and goodness that could be had (for both supporters and clubs) as sports clubs are awesomely well placed to be true market leaders......
Certainly for the next few decades - sports clubs will remain a key part of people’s desires (the technology to replace live excitement is not yet ready to take over the world - though it may well might - Second Life Champions League triumph for West Ham United more likely than the real thing).  And as part of people’s lives - we have a chance to really ‘personalize’ our interactions.
On match day - let’s give them what the individual want, let’s listen to people's views, let’s base our decisions on what will make folk happy (and hence spend their money - leading to our own financial targets getting nailed).
And online - let’s start by following what’s currently going on at pace (in web personalization - if I lost you back there), then let’s learn from the best (in the technological world), and as an ultimate goal let’s use the passion of sports to start to lead for once!!!
If Mark Z is reading this - go buy a sports club Mark, implement some of your most far reaching ideas (and speak to me for a few that might help!), and show the rest of the ‘slow to catch up’ sports industry how technology should be done and how impactful it (and you) can be.
If your’e not Mark Z - then my advice to you is to find someone (who has both the technological knowhow and the cash to splurge) who wants to work with you and your team and do it all anyway.....

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