Google, thy name is customization

18th Jul, 2014

| by writesolutions

My 47th Birthday would be remembered for all the customised digital deals I received from brands and ambassadors

I wouldn’t have remembered that I share my Birthday (July 18) with Nelson Mandela, had not the search giant, Google gifted me with my very own, search bar. Mildly flattered, I stole a look at my colleagues’ comps on my left and right, and felt smug in the knowledge that while they had the picture of the leader of the anti-apartheid movement on their Google bar, I had – guessed wrong! – not my picture (Mind you, that day too isn’t very far) but icons of cup cakes, pastries and other sugary delights!

Curious, I hung my curser just above the search bar and just as I had anticipated, the words appeared – ‘Happy Birthday, Radhika!’

My day was made. And it was made by none other than the world’s No.#1 digital brand.

I started thinking: How on earth did Google figure out my date, and the insight flashed – through Google+, of course!

How personal can you get?

Apparently, there is no limit. Not in the world of Big Data analytics, when customisation doesn’t just mean ‘accurate targeting’ of your next DM (Direct Marketing, stupid) campaign to your customer but also pooling in all information from every touch point to personalise the customer’s brush with your brand at every other touch point!


A wooly concept for the geeks?

That’s big data, for you!

But actually, it’s very elementary.

A common sense practice, that’s thankfully becoming very common these days in reaching out to your target customers (Oops there I go again, with my marketing jugglery!).

Let me illustrate how easy and simple it is.

Going back to my B’Day girl experiences, I next called up my card company – I use a Platinum Visa Signature card, you see, that comes with what Richard Gere in Pretty Woman described as a very ‘obscene’ credit limit – and guess what? The girl who came on line to verify my identity, cheerily said, “Happy Birthday, Maam!”

My day was made a second time over.

The third time was when Ganga S Chitinis, my course co-ordinator at SP Jain School, Mumbai where I am currently taking a capsule programme in ‘Grow Your Business’ (At 47, inspired by the story of Christiaan Barnard, I’ve suddenly woken up to the need of monetizing my fledging content writing practice), posted a message on my Facebook Timeline wishing me ‘Many Happy Returns of the Day,’ and I realised just how effective a mood-elevator the FB platform can be, even when you are not a die-hard, social media enthusiast, like me.

Incidentally, a client I ghost-write blogs for, also wished me on FB, while a friend, Savita Mehta, I forgot the birthday of, just two days ago, wrote in to say, “What a pest I was,” and started a wordy duel with me on the same platform! Neither of us bothered to pick up the phone to clear the air!

Among the telecom brands I subscribe to, both Vodafone and Airtel remembered to wish. International free calling service ‘Skype’ goes one step further in announcing it to the contact list.

My cup runneth over

As my B-day wore on, I remained undecided whether to order in a pizza from Pizza Hut or Domino’s or take my folks out for a sit-down meal. That’s when I received a call) from the front-desk executive of a dine-in I’d been to just once with a small bunch of friends (In India it doesn’t matter if you are on TRAI’s ‘Do NOT DISTURB LIST”) and after wishing me a ‘Happy Birthday’ make me a very special deal – 25% off on the diner bill, if I cared to bring my bunch to the dine-in again.

No marks for guessing where we are headed tonight.

And no marks for guessing what I plan to wear to the dine-in.

There are those discount vouchers I am carrying from Westside that I plan to redeem during my afternoon shopping trip. I received those in the mail today morning from my card company. And to make the deal sweeter, the retailer has also remembered my Birthday and offered me a further 25% off on any purchase made at their outlet today!

I am all set for my B-Day!


Radhika Sachdev

Content Strategist

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4 years 8 months ago

Many happy returns of the day Radhika!
That was a fabulous “Happy Birthday to Me” message.. the undoubted writing genius in you is always in form :)