This is a topic I’ve needed some time to digest mentally before I stuck my proverbial virtual foot in my virtual mouth.
I remember a few weeks ago reading about the FTC hearings on the “Do Not Track” requests coming from some consumer groups. Instantly I thought that the whole behavioral targeting engine would come to a screeching halt. My C4ISR Marketing common sense told me that “”Do Not Track” should be derailed. The Internet and the computing power behind it are inevitably evolving and this process of evolution will result in a higher level of intelligence – especially business intelligence in how we gather, process, extrapolate and act on data. Someday we will look upon our current behavioral targeting as “primitive,” but for now it’s all we have to try to deliver more relevant advertising and other information to an online visitor.
This kind of tracking will become increasingly critical for CRM and data mining, which can bring better economies and products to consumers in the long run. Net-Centric Marketing demands the symbiotic relationship of buyer and seller – the buyer gives information and money, and the seller gives what the buyer wants. If the seller does not have what the buyer wants, the buyer gives the seller more information or the buyer finds another seller who can deliver.
The buyer gives the seller more information by either verbal or written communication, or better yet with his or her actions (which I have been told speak louder than words). Actions tell things that words don’t, and marketers know this. Web analytics tell of certain behaviors that help marketers optimize websites to improve traffic. Behaviors can tell public relations people how their company measures up in many ways.
Kudos to the Interactive Advertising Bureau for taking the right stand against “Do Not Track.” The Marketing Consigliere hopes that they don’t get drowned out by the wailing and gnashing teeth of the so-called “privacy” advocates. Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which he has known about and even admired for years, seem to be getting shrill in their old age. With the emergence of C4ISR Marketing technologies, he is willing to bet that more people will want to be catered to regarding advertising – they’ll want products more in line with their desires, lifestyles, and behaviors. They won’t want to be mass marketed to like so many of us have been in the past.
Even in light of the privacy faux pas and ado surrounding Facebook, if the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to truly protect privacy, it should be doing more to help keep both consumers and companies safe from the real threats out there like organized crime and others who try to steal identities, commandeer processing power of privately-owned computers, and use fraud to trick people out of their freedoms and money.