Behavioral targeting may put consumers in an adversarial frame of mind, which may result in their attempts to be less predictable, more closed-off and even misleading.
I've worked on privacy issues for 20 years, but I never imagined the phenomenon or the privacy implications of social networking. Twenty years ago, businesses, which were driven by consumer information and consumer advocates alike, characterized consumers as fiercely protective of their privacy.
Some marketers took advantage of the previous, more lenient policies surrounding the mobile channel—simply because they could, says Alan Chapell. Now that the Federal Trade Commission is taking a closer look at consumer privacy, it's time for marketers to mend their ways in the mobile channel, says the president of Chapell & Associates, a privacy and interactive strategy consulting firm in New York City.
A new system to police privacy abuses by companies that track consumers’ Web-surfing habits for ad targeting will be launched in coming months by groups whose members include heavy users of this type of information–Internet companies such as Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and advertising companies like WPP PLC.
Some direct marketers that are concerned about their social media presences in light of consumers' heightened privacy concerns might be sweating more than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did when asked about the topic during a recent trade conference. Those companies that are concerned probably want to know what to do, specifically, with their social networking efforts and, perhaps especially, with their Facebook presences.
Even on the news front, the U.S. Postal Service gets eclipsed by the Internet. Marketers who used to be on tenterhooks regarding the agency's push to a five-day delivery week now are focused on a bigger threat: a draft federal privacy bill that would further regulate the collection and use of online and offline data, making it harder to come by postal addresses in the first place.
A new study of 90 organizations actively engaged in online marketing concludes that in spite of an acknowledged return on investment, hundreds of millions of dollars are being held back from online behavioral advertising (OBA) over concerns that a lack of consumer trust in the practice could damage brand reputation.
The Federal Trade Commission today told privacy groups it is "carefully reviewing" their complaint that the commission should investigate the targeting practices of online advertisers.
In the olden days of direct marketing, personalization began and ended with putting a recipient’s name at the top of the letter and sprinkling it throughout. While that’s still a good starting point today, it’s hardly a difference maker. Today’s personalization must go much further, taking into consideration consumer behaviors and interests.