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Intelligence? More Like Complete Stupidity...

Unbelievable! Don’t get me wrong, it is not the fact that pop-up ads appear all over commercial websites that annoys me; after all, we have had the same thing in magazines and newspapers for many years. Advertisements appear almost everywhere these days, the funding from which is an important part of many companies’ business plans. This is not the issue. The issue starts with the difference between physical ads and on-line ads. On-line ads can be dynamic; they are now tailored for the specific individual. The hype has been around the intelligence to target specific products and services that the person is interested in, thereby getting a higher success rate to that person responding to the ads. This is put forward as a form of “intelligent advertising”.

In my experience to date, this is complete garbage. I go on-line to buy an external hard disk, do a few searches to find the model that I want, then a few searches again to find the best price, and then, I buy it. Great. What happens next? Loads of “intelligent” targeted advertising telling me about external hard disks. The same ads appear on pretty much every commercial website that I go to. Seriously? This is the sum total of the advertising intelligence? Just find out what the recent searches were made, and then inundate the person with ads for similar products? Having just bought an external hard drive, what are the odds that I would be now looking to buy another one? Same story for the USB stick, the laptop, the office chair, the greenhouse. The fact that a purchase was made is a very critical piece of information that obviously is not recorded and results in the “intelligent” advertising being the dumbest of all. Someone, somewhere, thinks that this is acceptable, perhaps with the justification that people go on-line to do shopping not to actually buy anything most of the time. Really?

The intelligent advertising story sounds good, until you start to think it through. The missing piece of the purchase event illustrates how far away this “intelligence” is from the way that it was originally portrayed. The story was that it is supposed to “know” the person, to be able to understand their wants and needs, to be able to identify products that would be of interest. I was expecting that the intelligent advertising would show me external hard disks before I thought I needed one. A big gap between perception and reality.

I may just be over-reacting, I guess that I have grown sceptical over the years. I really hate it though when people bring “solutions” that are at best just “box ticking” exercises where the story sounds good superficially, and at worst, just a way to make business at the expense of the customer, no matter what.

I know that there are other people who have been “burned” by a solution that had sounded good, where the expectation and the reality were quite a way apart. There has been a wide gamut of solutions out there for PCB-A production, each making their own pitch about what they can do. How to avoid the “intelligent advertising” effect? There is great value in working with a partner who knows the industry, knows your situation, knows the pain points that you are feeling, and in fact, knows what will be the major issues a year or even five years from now. Anyone though can say this. The proof has to be there, demonstrated and proven by the introduction of innovation, solutions that were conceived years before the industry realised that they are a must in order to remain competitive, but now are available when needed, are mature, and really work. Just in time material management, simultaneous work-order and feeder commonality optimisation for production planning, just two of the latest hit technologies, originally conceived years ago, and today available to really meet the requirements of electronics production looking to get ahead, to differentiate themselves. Beware of crude imitations….

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About Michael Ford

Michael FordMICHAEL FORD SENIOR MARKETING DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, VALOR DIVISION, MENTOR GRAPHICS Michael started his career as a computer software and hardware engineer in 1982. Working for Sony in the UK, Michael became one of the first successful adopters of computer technology into the manufacturing shop-floor, going on to manage in Japan Sony’s global Lean Manufacturing solutions. Joining Valor Computerized Systems in 2008 gave Michael the opportunity to apply his experience into the main-stream of the industry. With almost 30 years’ experience, Michael’s key strength is the instinct of finding solutions and opportunities where there had been challenges and problems. Michael is currently working as part of the Marketing Development team within the Valor Division of Mentor Graphics, focussing on the realisation of real and practical solutions for manufacturing based on the application of Lean Thinking, end to end, from design through the entire manufacturing process. Visit The Michael Ford Manufacturing Blog

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