When is profiling a good thing? Customizing ads based on age, sex, demographics because that’s what technology allows you to do… it can really misfire if you’re not careful.
This ad constantly plays on Pandora lately… at least for me. And every time I hear it I want to scream.
Unlike Cheryl Sandberg, I didn’t have handouts, a leg up, or powerful mentors/sponsors who opened doors.
No, I had a few bosses who were intimated by what I achieved - one who took credit while pushing me down. Another, who later, apologized to me for allowing a negative perception around my reputation because she believed/thrived on the drama another colleague created around her.
I’m not bitter about these experiences - I went to school to study the subject of leadership instead.
Actually, these experiences have made me a better employee, manager and a stronger person. I have continued to leaned in, speak up, raised my hand and be authentically me while learning along the way…
And regardless of the behaviors of these bosses and predicaments in general, I too have made decisions; therefore, I accept the outcomes.
However, leaning into to my career - the way Cheryl suggests - has not led (yet) to the outcomes promised as a result of hard work and dedication.
What I have learned are invaluable life lessons most around me do not yet know. Perhaps that is worth more than all the riches one can put in a closet or bank account.
And, for the most part, I’ve come to peace with the fact when I finally have a family, its makeup may not include a child of my own, as I gave those years to raising my hand and leaning in.
…that is until I hear this ad and it brings out my inner warrior - "How cruel this ad is! What a personal matter with so much associated with it… to just advertise casually?… Have they no sensitivity or shame?!"
When I hear this ad, I also think of all the women who can’t have kids and have tried, including my friend, who has cried many gut-wrenching tears. I think of all the emotional pain she’s gone through trying …what if she, or the many other women, who hear this ad?
Cruel and all for a buck. I mean, it’s not like I can opt-out of the ad or tailor the targeting differently.
General associations and profiling are rarely the full picture or accurate. In my case, these ads are off-base for one reason or another 99% of the time. I am not someone who always likes more of the same, but instead like exploring what’s new and different.
I resent being stuffed into averages. I suspect others feel the same.
So, I am thinking whether using Pandora is a thing of the past for me. (Hello worst fear of a marketer.) I definitely give Shady Grove Hospital a big thumbs down for producing such an ad strategy on this subject - especially in an area where women do have careers and want families, but don’t often result in two realities aligning… with a Sandberg-ending.
The good news is I’m not done with my career. I’m hopeful and happy. And the best reminder out of this - not all subject matters/companies should use the benefits of social media targeting … generalizations are a bad thing. And they, in fact, do hurt.