A contributing writer for Fast Company, Lucas Conley is an experienced journalist with an eye for stories that change how we see the world. Widely published in a number of fields, his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, SPIN, and ESPN: The Magazine, among other publications.
Question: Where is predictive marketing headed?
Lucas Conley: It’s getting more and more granular. That-- One of the places that I first started was with those supermarket cards where they could kind of see what you were buying, and of course most people have dropped those by now but in terms of one of the connections I’ve seen that’s also going in that direction is just the- one of the largest sources of data storage devices in the world is this company that’s based in London and Cincinnati and it’s all consumer data. It’s these-- It’s your credit card data. It’s your spending data. If they’re scanning your pictures on Facebook, you know they’re getting pretty good at getting specific in terms of who needs their products and how to reach them and what message works. If a billboard can read your face, it can tell that white guys in their 40s weren’t interested in this billboard but when we look at women under twenty they loved this cell phone ad. So there is this kind of building intelligence from the marketing world, and one of the things marketers have asked me since the book is out is “Isn’t this all just the same stuff? Aren’t we just seeing the same appeals and work we’ve seen since the ‘50s?” Which... I think it’s an insult to marketers for the past...They... They’re not sitting still for the past 50 years. They’re getting good at what they do and part of that is data. It’s capturing information, your spending habits, scanning photos, watching you as you walk down the street.
Recorded on: 7/23/08