It takes context to make meaning.
That's why content-based search tools -- like the ones that generate site ads and the ones that offer up "helpful" recommendations based on your online purchase (or previous search) information often fall short of giving customers truly meaningful suggestions. But falling short isn't as bad as, uh, making the wrong suggestions.
Enter the story I missed about Walmart's recent snafu when folks buying the Planet of the Apes DVD were urged to try the combo platter with a DVD about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
What? I don't get it? Monkeys? MLK?
Well, we all know that today's the national holiday celebrating Dr. King's life, and we all know how helpful technology is in helping us "consumers" decide things, so of course Dr. King's going to be served up with a lil' bit of everything we might be looking for in January. Call this negro remembrance month. Call it permission marketing. Call it CRM. If you're Walmart, you just called it off.
Walmart has decided to throw the baby and the bathwater out rather than risking pissing anyone else off.
And the story got me thinking, what else did the now-defunct Walmart Customer Recommendation system suggest while we weren't looking... like... maybe...
or the Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook + the Self-Cleaning Litterbox - calling Dr. King! (for dinner!)
I'm sure you can search up your own DEsuggestions. ;-)
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