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Ask your average person born around the turn of the century, meaning this one, about 'real time marketing' and you're likely to get a moralistic ear-raid.
They'll talk about the theoretical evils of the NSA, randomly but comprehensively gathering personal data about any number of individuals supposedly in the name of our collective well being.
Even though almost everyone with a smartphone makes tracking their every move relatively easy with constant check-ins and status updates, there remains a deeply entrenched paranoia when it comes to any organization 'spying' on us citizens, even if we're part of the problem by being so carefree in our digital communications.
'We' don't want 'them' to be intrusive, but 'they' don't want 'us' to remain elusive. Therein lies the philosophical paradox.
In short: How can an honest marketing scheme be pervasive without being invasive?
That is the rub, of course and it’s a sea of gray area that marketers must learn to navigate..
Coined in Joseph Heller’s classic satirical novel of the same name, 'Catch-22' is a term that refers to a situation in which a person is trapped by completely contradictory goals or circumstances.
In Heller’s book, the only way for a pilot to escape his WWII flying mission is to request psychiatric evaluation due to mental instability, and be deemed insane.
However, awareness of his own insanity is considered proof of a rational mind, thus making it impossible to escape his mission, a total and complete Catch-22.
No doubt, many marketers are feeling stuck in this sort of paradoxical situation when it comes to the competing goals of consumer privacy and personalization.
Here's the latest US stats we've seen around the web.
Intrigue is provided by native advertising, Alibaba hype, Twitter ads, newspapers and our obsession with our phones.
Get stuck in. And make sure you take a look at the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium for more stats.
The play Privacy has just opened at London's Donmar Warehouse and it is a must-see for those involved in data, analytics and personalisation.
This excellent play explores the issues of privacy and surveillance in the post-Snowden era. The play starts with the writer seeing his therapist, exploring his unwillingness to share.
The writer then commits to share online after being pressed by his Director and from this premise we explore the issues of privacy and security and secrecy.
Data is a hot topic. It always has been. But now there’s way more of it.
For all those tired of the talk of big data, which is changing services, there’s also a backlash, a sort of arts and crafts movement in statistics (no offence intended) with a focus on using ecommerce product and customer data efficiently, now that it can be looked at it in high fidelity.
Perhaps the biggest boom area in marketing technology at the moment is CRM. But aside from companies getting their houses in order, building them on the rocks of data collection, triangulation and testing, there’s talk of a further revolution.
The revolution comes in the form of a data empowered consumer. The customer is gaining more awareness of and control over her data. Will we approach a point where consumers are fully aware of the value of their data, and are capitalising on it with companies that enable a value exchange, providing extra services, products or savings?
Well, this post is going to have a lot of rhetorical questions in it, questions inspired by last week's Personal Information Economy conference run by Ctrl-Shift. But it will also have some facts and a particularly good case study, Money Saving Expert’s Cheap Energy Club.
So, have a read and let me know how far you think a data empowered consumer can change advertising and marketing.
Data collection is exploding across the internet, and for good reason. Whether you’re a Google, Facebook or small online advertising network, the more data you have the better.
You can slice it, dice it, repackage it, and - using predictive analysis - build accurate profiles to serve users with precise interest based adverts.
It drives down costs and the digital advertising industry, with their insatiable thirst for data, is booming. In just the first half of 2013, US revenue from online advertising in the US alone totalled approximately $20bn.
We are all sharing more data than ever before with other organisations in our emerging Big Data Society. Sharing lets us use our resources much more precisely and produce completely new services.
But misusing customer data risks destroying customer trust. Still, we all need that missing piece of the Big Data puzzle, so we all need to share more.
Creating a single view of customers across channels has long been the goal of the ambitious retail marketer.
By being able to track and analyse consumer interactions across in-store and online, a retailer can create a new level of insight into their customers and therefore market to them with an unprecedented level of accuracy and insight.
In addition, data has shown again and again that customers who interact with a brand on more than one channel are more valuable and loyal than their single channel counterparts.
However, a single view of customers isn’t as simple as just connecting online and offline databases of information. It requires significant investment in new hardware, software, staff capabilities and processes.
Before launching any project of this scale, retailers need to be aware of the possibilities and pitfalls.
It's becoming harder and harder to persuade customers to give us their personal data. Are they more worried about privacy and security post-Snowden?
Are they wary that we marketers will relentlessly spam them once we have their details? Do they find it too difficult to do the data entry on the mobile devices they are increasingly using?
According to recent TRUSTe research 60% of people say they are more concerned about security now than they were a year ago.
It turns out that businesses sharing personal information with other companies (60%) and tracking online behaviour to show targeted ads and content (54%) were the two largest causes of increased online privacy concerns.
And yet there is also plenty of research to show that consumers appreciate personalisation and customisation. According to Adobe’s 'State of Online Advertising' last year, 88% of those surveyed in the EU were neutral or positive about customisation; this figure rose to 94% for the US.
So we face a tough challenge as marketers, as customers seemingly want the benefits of customisation but without giving up any personal data...
In a sideways blow to Apple, Windows Phone and Blackberry, Android is now the dominant operating system of mobile users worldwide.
Android use has climbed from 27% in 2012 to 65% in 2013. An even more impressive figure is the 270% increase in Android use since the end of 2011.
These figures come from the Q4 2013 market research study by GlobalWebIndex (GWI), in which 170,000 respondents were interviewed in 32 markets, representing 89% of the global internet population.
Here are some more fascinating stats from the study involving device ownership and privacy.
Online privacy and security has always been a concern for internet users and the issue has gained further prominence in the past year due to revelations about governments spying on their citizens.
A new survey shows the scale of the mistrust, as nine out of ten (89%) British internet users admitted to being worried about online privacy.
The results from the TRUSTe research have remained consistent for the past three years, suggesting that the ecommerce industry hasn’t been able to allay fears about online security.
More than a third of respondents in the survey said that they are ‘frequently’ or ‘always’ worried about their online privacy.
For details of similar surveys into online privacy, download the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium.
We know that we are addicted to our mobile devices and love that they enable us to purchase anytime, anywhere.
So chances are that one of your next purchases will be via your tablet or mobile phone.
But what does this mean for businesses operating in the mobile space?