Big Data = Big Responsibility
Over the past five years, marketing has entered a new golden age. Client and prospect data has never been more easily available. The ability to track the success of a campaign or the interest of my audience is at an all-time high. Long gone are the days of batch, blast and pray. We’ve entered a time when our customer’s interests can be identified, and our products and messages tailored to make their lives better and increase our sales performance. Amazing. But just like with Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility.
Part of that responsibility includes using this data to deliver quality custom content and not just more content. Big data promises more sales opportunities, but most importantly it promises the public a better buying experience. I know I personally would rather be served messages tailored to my specific interests than being forced to read through a series of advertisements that bear no meaning for me. Clients and prospects alike who interact with us have engaged in a contract of sorts that the things we learn about them through our digital interactions will be respected and valued. The more data we collect, the more we recognize how important our responsibility is to serve.
For the record, it's become crystal clear to me that the relative ease with which one can collect data on clients and prospects is rather frightening. And we do things legally. It seems as if every day now there's a new report of a data breach at a Fortune 1,000 company where financial information is being stolen. If the Fortune 1,000 can’t protect their data, how well do you think it’s being protected at all the medium-size companies and small businesses? I keep thinking that in addition to stealing credit card and other financial data, they're also stealing all the experience data which marketers are collecting. Basically, they’re stealing a look inside someone’s brain. Now, I’d probably rather have someone steal my debit card number than get a look at the data stored in the recesses of my mind, but just to be safe I should probably protect them both.
If you’re involved in marketing, and are doing any form of data collection, make 100% certain your company is operating with the appropriate levels of cyber liability protection. We’re moving quickly into an era beyond that extends beyond the danger of protecting financial data. I suspect the next wave of liability businesses will face will be from failing to protect our clients and prospects personal likes and dislikes. At least their financial accounts can be insured and new numbers issued. Likes and dislikes are bound to have a longer lasting impact.
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