For those in the know, the future of personalization can look pretty scary. There’s certainly just as much evil as good that can be done with our information, and the tools at a marketer’s fingertips to use personal data — email, IP address, device info, geolocation, psychographics, buying habits, etc. — keep getting more and more powerful.

So, perhaps the question marketers need to ask is: How would I feel about having my personal info used against me? Context, it seems, has something do with finding the right answer.

“On one hand, as a marketer, you want to think outside of the box. Of course with that, you open up Pandora’s box and the scary possibilities of personalization,” said Preeti Kelapure, senior product marketing manager at Glassdoor. “I think it’s a fine balance with always thinking about what’s possible and balancing that against you as a user, and what you’d be comfortable with as a consumer.”

Glassdoor combines anonymous reviews, ratings, and salary content with job listings to help job seekers find the best jobs and address critical questions that come up during the job search, application, interview, and negotiation phases of employment. To Kelapure, the type of personal data that Glassdoor collects is potentially much more sensitive than the kind of personal data someone like eBay or Etsy might have on you, and it needs to be treated as such.

“In some instances, like ecommerce, more personalization is very beneficial — if a user buys a dress and you want to upsell, or cross-sell, them an accessory, there’s a clear use there,” she offered. “But something as sensitive as somebody’s job search, or sharing resume information, you don’t want to be revealing personal information like that you’ve collected on the user.”

The challenge, then, for Glassdoor and other companies struggling with their right approach to personalization is to find the sweet spot where the user feels assisted by the introduction of personalized content, messages, and alerts, but not offended or creeped out by them.

“We’re trying to get a place where we know who our users are and where they are in their job cycle or job search, with a goal of understanding them and then being able to tailor their experience in a way that’s useful,” said Kelapure. “So, knowing who they are and what they’re doing on our site and being able to take action in a multi-channel approach, whether it’s on our site, or via email, or a notification or in our app. It’s really just being able to message in a way that’s consistent across those different platforms and across the user’s lifecycle experience with our brand.”

Being consistent across the different channels — web, mobile web, apps, email, etc. — may be the most difficult part of the personalization challenge.

“It’s pretty complicated,” she said. “Trying to get the unified experience is the ultimate goal. Right now, our native app experience is slightly different than our desktop and mobile web experience. The challenge is to show users that we are trustworthy and we’re not going to use the power of what they share with us to do anything but help them.”

VB’s team of experts and some special guests will be diving deep into personalization in our upcoming webinar — to find out where it’s going and how to make it more useful, and to safeguard against creating a creepy experience for your consumers.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.


In this not-to-be-missed webinar, VB Insight director of marketing technology Stewart Rogers will take you through the essential findings of his latest “State of Marketing Technology — Personalization” report, which surveyed over 1,700 consumers, as well as experts, vendors, and commentators. And for some real-world insights into how personalization can be applied with outstanding results, Rogers will be joined by Preeti Kelapure of the career community Glassdoor and Brijen Rajput, SVP of online marketing at FarePortal, a travel portal that includes

What you’ll learn:

  • What types of personalization are acceptable, and which to avoid
  • The correct process for on-boarding personalization, and how to manage when consumers opt out
  • What the future of personalization looks like, for both B2C and B2B organizations
  • The rules and regulations at play
  • The marketing technologies that will save all marketers from crossing the “uncanny valley” into “Creepyville”


Stewart Rogers, Director, Marketing Technology, VB Insight

Brijen Rajput, SVP of Online Marketing, FarePortal/CheapOAir

Preeti Kelapure, Marketing Manager, Glassdoor