Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Privacy & Personalized Marketing

Facebook just launched a location service where people can update where they are on their Facebook page.

This is not a new service in social media, there are a couple of others including the one I use on occasion, FourSquare.

But Facebook is a giant. If you watched the video I posted last week, (Click here to see it again), did you catch that if Facebook were a country, it would rank 3rd largest in the world?

Facebook has privacy issues because it is so big.

Let me explain.

Because Facebook is so popular, unscrupulous people have found ways to gather information that most people would want kept private.

To Facebooks credit, they have created increased privacy options, but the general public hasn't locked down their Facebook pages and taken advantage of the privacy options Facebook offers.

I prefer location services like Foursquare, because I can use it when I want and only include people that I trust as my friends. Tonight I'm going to a baseball game and I'll use it to see who else is there.

Some businesses have used Foursquare as a marketing tool by offering specials to people who "Check in" on Foursquare when they are at that particular business. At lunch today, I was checking in on FourSquare and noticed that the Radio Shack in the same shopping center was offering a FourSquare special of 10% off just for showing them your phone with the FourSquare offer. It's a form of Word of Mouth endorsements via social media.

Most people however I not aware of all of the ways they give up their private information.

10 years ago, my mom was afraid of ordering anything online, yet for years she would freely give her credit card number to a stranger over the phone when placing an order at Sears.

Take a look at your key ring.

Do you have one of those loyalty cards with a bar code from your grocery store that they swipe in order to save money?

They have a record of everything you buy. Sometimes that is helpful like when they had the egg recall last week, some of the grocery stores were able to call customers who purchased the recalled eggs and leave them a warning and recall message.

And unless you are buying stuff that would be embarrassing, then you probably have nothing to worry about.

Personalized Marketing at the grocery store also occurs when they hand you coupons for your next visit that are based on the items you just bought.

Websites, and search engines do personalized marketing too, with ads that are relevant for what you are searching for and/or your location.

In the radio business, I've done a form of personalized advertising too.

No, I don't call your name in a commercial, but I'll target a very specific person in the content of the ad and keep it as time relevant as possible too.

A few other thoughts on this subject, when I turned 50 a few months ago, the direct mail and some of the email (Spam) I started receiving was geared to the 50+ generation. More like the 65+ generation.

And if you are going to send a direct mail piece to me addresses to RESIDENT or OCCUPANT, I'll probably be calling on you to teach you how to do a better job with your advertising and marketing.

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