December 2014, article published in El Periódico de Catalunya

What lies ahead

“I’m your TV. I know what you watch. And I’m going to play ads that you’ll like.” This will happen more and more as intelligent televisions become more common in the home. That is, brands will play different ads for the neighbor in 4A and the neighbor in 4B. How is this possible? Because our television will be connected to a data line (if it isn’t already, it will be tomorrow, just as it happened with PCs). Televisions without internet connections will become obsolete, sad, lonely apparatus. A major opportunity for both big and small business because the audience can be much better segmented.

Wanamaker’s famous quote (“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half.”) will no longer apply. The same way that a computer’s browser learns your tastes (online tastes are easy to recognize, just follow the mouse clicks), your television will learn. This has been going on for a while, or do you think it’s a coincidence that when you carry out a search for something with your PC the results you are offered are different that the ones your sister gets? In fact, lately I ask in my conferences how many people have a Smart TV at home and the rate grows daily (impressive in Chile and Ecuador, where I was giving some sessions in recent weeks, the high penetration of this type of apparatus).

One hears of the convergence of media between different gadgets, the same content offered on different devices, and the interesting thing to me is the convergence of data between these devices. Because by accepting the terms and conditions of an app on our mobile (yes, these 27 pages that you, like me, read every time you install an app on your device, right?) we are allowing this data that we generate to be used for financial ends, with all devices.

The battle is even beginning to be won regarding how to attribute offline sales to online activity. Facebook, which is full-speed ahead in the use of consumer data, has begun to try systems that correlate the publicity you have received on your profile with what you have bought in the physical world, using your email address and your mobile number (they associate this information with that which a store might have; that is, they may ask for your email at the time of purchase).

So the same way we have a general doctor, soon we will have a general data provider and manager. Above all if there is business and something to be sold. Because something has to be sold, right? … And remember that soon, when you sit down to watch TV, the TV will be watching you. If it wants to know you well. You’ll never be just another customer. The TV will know what you, specifically you, are looking for. That’s what lies ahead.



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