Genomics marketing. If you are into financial marketing news, you have probably read about it recently. At K-message we are close both to bank marketing and to life sciences, including the “real” genomics. Obviously “genomics marketing” smells fishy in the same way as any of those connections of advertising with scientific terms that average brand manager does not understand.
Is genomics marketing yet another scam, a buzz word without meaning? Or maybe there is something in it?
First, let’s define genomics. Genomics is the branch of molecular biology, that looks into the structure, function, evolution and mapping of genomics. It is a great and disruptive piece of science, but so far nothing that you could relate to marketing efforts in banking or financial services.
“Genomics marketing” is promoted by one major company, Infosys with its “Consumer Genome” project. There are also followers (ie. Fractal Analytics) hoping to catch the wave if the buzzword catches. And sometimes it does, as you can see in the recent article by Mary Schacklett on TechRepublic (‘Genomic’ analytics: Build sales by finding your most profitable customers).
In general, what Infosys offers under “genomics marketing” label is a capability to build customer profiles and forecast their behavioral patterns basing on analysis of the data available. The concept of crunching lots of data available about customer to model and predict behavior makes sense. The name of it does not. Why have they picked up “Genome” to label it? There is some reasoning behind, although hardly convincing. The first reason for that is that biological genome is unique and determines some characteristics of human behavior. Similarly, the model provided by the Infosys Consumer Genome Project would offer individual profile, supposed to guess some characteristics of the consumer. The second reason is that this model is crunching big amounts of data, something that is being done in genetic research as well.
From marketing perspective, obviously the name of the Consumer Genome Project suggests something very advanced, scientific and incredibly expensive. Everyone heard something about the Human Genome Project, about genes being connected to disease and cure, about genetic determinism. That is pretty good name for marketing service and it may well sell to non life-sciences companies.
That is not to say, that what is offered under “genomics marketing” label is completely useless. On the opposite, the concept of data mining in pursue of customer behavior patterns is well proven. While one probably would not go into the full personalization of marketing efforts towards every retail consumer, having extensive market segmentation in place is nothing new and actually a daily bread for retail banking industry. Just remember, it has nothing to do with genomics, it is just a data mining for better market segmentation.