In our day and age, the internet has become a necessity in day-to-day life. We can access everything to anything just by typing in a few words into Google. Have you ever really thought about how much access we have to things when using the internet? It’s beyond crazy.
Remember when you added items into your shopping cart and then immediately exited the webpage after looking at the subtotal? And then you got an email an hour later being like “Where did you go? You forgot all the items in your cart!”
Sounds a bit like stalking, doesn’t it? Well, it kind of is…
Data mining is the act of analysing data from different perspectives and then summarising it into useful information. Parks and Recreation, a American comedy sitcom, had the best episode demonstrating how creepy and stalker-ish data mining can be. To understand the rest of this article, click here to watch a short clip of what I’m referring to.
Now, of course I haven’t seen any business mess up as bad as Gryzzl did on Parks and Rec. The most creeped out I have ever gotten was receiving an email asking me “where I went” after I chose not to spend all my life savings on unnecessary things. But in Pawnee’s case, Gryzzl violated their consumers privacy by using their technology to collect data for evil. The worst part was Gryzzl snuck it into their consumer terms and conditions (which obviously no one reads) stating consumers allow them to have access to their personal information and to use it for whatever they want.
So, how bad can data mining get? Is this just the beginning? Will our phone’s front camera become our worst nightmare?
These are all very extreme questions that a lot of consumers may be worried about. I know, for sure, that I’m worried about my privacy being violated. I don’t like the idea that someone could be watching me through my webcam or analysing my texts and phone calls. Those are private and way too personal to be seen or heard by any company, just so they can use that information to create an ad.
At the same time, all that information is gold to marketers these days. It is so important to stay relevant and top-of-mind when creating advertisements or promoting products/services so data is needed. So as a marketer, what do we do?
- Use your powers for good, not evil.
What do I mean by this? Data is so easy to collect and access. There’s so much data that is collected on our every online move that it can go all downhill if used the wrong way. Consumers shouldn’t need to feel like their identity has been taken from them just so an ad can be created. Yes, it’s nice that I get suggested different types of brands that I might be interested in. But I don’t want companies or anyone to know what kind of food I feel like eating unless I told them.
2. It’s about providing an experience.
Shopping or just surfing the internet is an emotional experience for consumers. It is important that when consumers use the internet to search for something they can easily access the business and information will be relevant to them. Don’t lose sight of what’s most important – Creating a natural experience when online to help consumers feel more intimate with a business when they see sponsored ads.
3. There’s a line; don’t cross it.
As this blog title suggests, artificial intelligence is on the rise so it is becoming more and more important to know where the “line” is drawn. The line for me is receiving an email asking me to come back and spend all my money on collecting more clothes/make up I don’t need. Any more than that, I may just have to quit the internet forever.