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Is Marketing Turning the Way of Finance?

September 24, 2010 / by Michael K. Redman

Post by Michael Dailey a Former "Bubbler" at Half a Bubble Out

Not too long ago we posted a video on our Facebook page featuring the Chief Economist for Google. He surmised that online marketing is going the way of finance. The ability to gather data on internet surfers at an extremely cheap rate allows the connection of buyer to seller at much less expensive costs and a more focused sales channel. This caused us to ask a few questions:

Is marketing turning the way of finance? Are we simply going to use the copious data points the online age allows to push products? How does this impact the creative soul of marketing? How does this impact trust?

The internet gives us an incredible amount of data on the user by tracking your locations, search patterns, and posted information. When you are on Facebook they know your religious and political views, relationship status, work place, education, etc. In fact I do not own a pet, but posted a picture of an animal as my Facebook profile and low and behold pet advertisements started showing up on the side bar. Every little detail is tracked, the data is analyzed instantaneously, and you are fed the appropriate advertisement (starting to feel like just a number yet). Perhaps that’s what makes the idea of marketing going the way of finance so scary. Financial data is the analysis of numbers; cold, hard numbers. This is not real people.

How does this in turn affect our children’s internet viewing? For example when I look at fantasy football sites (yes I am one of those nerds) all the sudden I get advertisements from Google or Facebook that are less than ideal for children (or me for that matter) simply because the word “fantasy” exists in the search query or is in the title of the site I am visiting i.e. www.fantasyfootballtoolbox.com (oh no, I just gave away some of my strategic sites to my competitors). Doesn’t this feel like a large breech of personal privacy?

Ok, before we storm the castle with pitchforks there is an opt out option. Using your internet settings on your browser and the privacy settings on Facebook (or various other social networking sites) you can control your privacy. In the end there are a great deal of questions to be asked, but what we need to realize is that the World Wide Web is an “owner beware world.” While the internet has provided us an incredible tool that we cannot live without…we need to ensure that all that searching fits within parameters we can live with.

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