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Algorithmic Lifestyle

I'm quick to admit that I have an algorithmic lifestyle. A lot of things I do follow a certain routine. This makes me quite an easy target to marketers because if they can't tell as to what I'm likely to be doing and where I'm likely to be at any given time, they are highly likely to lose their jobs.

Most advertising decisions and product decisions today are based on the understanding of customer behaviour patterns and routines. But how effective is this really?

I have come to realise that if I'm settled into a routine, it is for a reason. The reason is that I'm comfortable and happy with that routine. If I go to Costa Coffee every Sunday to read a book, showing me an ad or sending me an offer about Cafe Coffee Day won't make me go there. The time to show me an ad or send me an offer would be on a Sunday when I either don't go to Costa Coffee or leave earlier than usual (unusual behaviour). Because it is likely that there was a break in my routine because I had a bad experience there (either it was crowded, or the coffee was not good).

Understanding customer behaviour patterns is really helpful if the gathered data is made use of the right way. If the customer is following a certain routine, she is happy with it and unlikely to break it after viewing an ad for a competing product. She is far more likely to be persuaded by an ad when she breaks her routine. So identify breaks in routine rather than trying to induce breaks in routine. It is likely to fetch better returns.

And if your product is already part of customer routine, ensure you please the customer in every way possible, continue to exceed expectations. Do not give her a reason to break the routine.

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