What does the filter bubble mean for technology marketing?

I’ve just finished reading The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser.  It’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend it for anyone with even a passing interest in the evolution of technology.

In fact, its core concepts should be required reading for everyone who’s online, as it points out how pervasive ‘personalization’ already is on the Internet, and how the world we see online is tailored for our interests already.  I hadn’t realized that Google gives different search results to different people for the same terms.

So I started musing on the ramifications of our ‘filtered’ online universe for technology marketing – and came up with conflicting conclusions.

Embrace the bubble

Personalization will can help you reach your prospects/customers more easily, if you have tapped into the areas of their interest.  (Yes, this is content marketing at work once again.) It is up to you to have a good understanding of your audience, of course.

But fear the bubble.

Aside from its sci-fi implications, we have real reasons as marketers to beware of living in the filter bubble ourselves. First, creativity comes from the unexpected – if we only see what we are looking for, we are likely to become less creative, less interesting.

Second, radical innovation often comes at us sideways.  Do you think that the record companies were paying attention to the first iPod? Maybe, maybe not.  It’s dangerous to be oblivious to what’s happening in your peripheral vision in the fast-moving technology market.

If you have some spare reading time, I’d recommend a quick whirl through The Filter Bubble.

2 Comments on “What does the filter bubble mean for technology marketing?

  1. Very interesting that this would appear the day I finished a brochure for an ecommerce personalization solution! It seems that I am embracing the bubble. It certainly is convenient. Thanks for pointing out this book.

    • Claire – We are all part of the bubble – it does make life easier, which is why its other effects are so insidious – particularly in the realm of ‘news’ and things that we perceive as being neutral or factual. E-commerce, it’s not such a problem!

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