Forever Learning

Forever learning and helping machines do the same.

Selling Ice to Eskimos

with 6 comments

Facebook has recently discovered that beyond the uncanny valley of personalized marketing lies the bottomless pit of invasive identity misappropriation.

But there is a deeper problem here. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Facebook has the data, but they do not have users with shopping intent. Nobody goes to Facebook to buy stuff. Facebook is for meeting friends, like a bar or a club.

Even with the best products in the world and the most detailed private information it is not easy to sell stuff to strangers in bars; unless you’re selling beer.

Written by Lukas Vermeer

February 29, 2012 at 11:00

Posted in Marketing

Tagged with , ,

6 Responses

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  1. Your mindblurb is followed by an advertisement for Sims3. I wonder what this means…

    Niko Vermeer

    February 29, 2012 at 11:09

    • Probably that, based on your surfing history and the history of other visitors on my blog, some computer algorithm somewhere in a datacenter guessed that you might be interested in buying the Sims.

      Was it guessing correctly?

      Lukas Vermeer

      February 29, 2012 at 11:12

  2. I think you may underestimate the number of people who are prone to impulse buying. More often than not, people don’t actually need anything, but see something nice and consequently want to buy it (especially if it’s recommended by friends, I imagine).

    I’ve noticed the same when I get an H&M catalogue in the mail. Prior to opening the catalogue, I’m positively certain that I have all the apparel I need, but after flicking through the catalogue there’s always a number of items that I suddenly realize I can’t live without. The mind of the woman is made of bizarre fabric.


    February 29, 2012 at 11:13

    • I am not saying it is impossible, just that it is not easy. Impulse buying is real, but usually happens when people are already shopping, not at parties with friends.

      When you open up that catalog, you are actively engaging in looking for nice clothes (I presume you are not reading it socially). Even when you consciously know you need nothing new, you are still in shopping-mode.

      Couldn’t comment on the minds of women. I work with artificial intelligence; women fall outside my area of expertise. 🙂

      Lukas Vermeer

      February 29, 2012 at 11:19

  3. For some reason, while browsing the web and looking for all the wedding stuff, Facebook thinks I’m single and desperately need to date more 😐

    And I need to drink more and loan more money…

    Silly Facebook


    February 29, 2012 at 12:21

  4. Ik zie net dat ik via Binck nu eindelijk Amerikaanse opties kan kopen. Dus dat ga ik binnenkort uitzoeken en dan even rustig de beursgang van Facebook afwachten.

    Sjors Provoost

    March 3, 2012 at 13:24

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