This week it was revealed that Researchers from Cambridge University have produced an algorithm to predict personality traits by monitoring a plethora of personal information about users on the social networking site- Facebook.

According to the algorithm, those who were found to ‘like’ curly fries were more likely to have a higher IQ than those who ‘like’ Harley Davidsons. These interesting(!) findings aside, what does this algorithm and our willingness to broadcast our preferences, and sometimes our dirty laundry, online, through social media platforms really mean?

Essentially, the theory of being able to more specifically target your defined market audience through individualised marketing is becoming a reality. This is not to say that something similar does not already exist, targeted marketing has been a buzz word for well over five years and services proclaiming to offer just this have been available for an equal length of time. The effectiveness of marketing practices upon these ‘targeted audiences’ are riddled with mystery. Furthermore, questions remain regarding the deployment of whether this type of marketing ought to be subtle or brazen as internet users and potential consumers are becoming more aware of modern online marketing techniques based upon personal information they that themselves release to a global audience.

It is only a matter of time before these algorithms are monetised to deliver ‘individualised marketing’ which WILL replace targeted advertising online. Imagine what this could do for your online web sales; sales conversion rates and online lead generation.

You heard it here first!

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