Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

With the 2020 elections already underway, social media marketing is in the spotlight. Although I am not sure if the spotlight was ever really off of its data-driven science since the 2016 election. Although all of the major social networking platforms have been dragged in front of congress to discuss how they use data, it was the relationship between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica that drew the most media attention and become the poster child.

Facebook ads are notorious for their data-backed ability to target consumers one-on-one. But in the wake of its Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media giant that’s been cutting back on its use of third-party data is about to get slammed for its privacy practices. Possibly again and again.

Even as Facebook’s trying to sell its audience on Portal, its new video interface, consumer doubts about the platform’s data privacy measures and marketers’ distrust of its ad claims are being exacerbated by recent lawsuits. The Facebook data breach that affected between 30 and 50 million users and the video metrics snafus may not dissuade advertisers from wanting to access Facebook’s 2 billion monthly active users, though.

Facebook Portal is entering the marketing landscape at a strange time. The video calling offering is well-timed for marketers, but comes with so many reassurances to consumers about privacy that it’s hard to tell if the words are meant to alleviate concerns about the social network’s data fiascos or consumer fears about AI.

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