Faris Yakob, author of Paid Attention, wrote an article titled Marketing Discontent. In 2017, “Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer for Procter & Gamble, heralded a new age of personalised relevant communication he calls ‘mass one to one.’”

“This fusion of intimacy and scale is to be delivered by personalised content, informed by data and enabled by technology.”

“Mr Pritchard understands that ‘mass one to one’ is direct marketing, not advertising, but his statement seems to belie his role as champion of P&G’s brands.”

“Something about the model sounds oddly familiar and it was the recent spate of GDPR emails that reminded me what it was. ‘Mass one to one’ is what Seth Godin made his name, and first fortune, on: permission-based email marketing.”

“Permission-based marketing was the future of advertising in the last millennium and it’s the future of advertising again today, 20 years later. So why wasn’t it the future of advertising in between?”

“…brands failed to deliver on the promise of valuable content and sent only sales exhortations. Subscribers were often kept thanks to inertia. Being forced to take an action, they are opting out, demonstrating their discontent with masses of one-to-one marketing.”

My favorite line in the article: “…the most recent reminder of the old adage that our vision often seems tied to our business model.”

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