Consumer Privacy and Refrigerators?


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I read an interesting article in the Washington Post associated with the Consumer Electronics Show, “Privacy rights activists worry about potential abuse of high-tech devices featured at CES event” that examined privacy concerns being raised in light of increasingly high-tech homes and gadgets – can you imagine your refrigerator, stove or washing machine being connected to the internet? It’s not a concept that is all that far away. As a result, privacy advocates warn that consumers must be diligent about understanding what real-time data and personal information could be collected and shared with third parties, like utility companies…and quite possibly marketers.

High tech, interconnected gadgetry is another example of why consumer privacy will remain a hot topic in the marketing world, a topic that has been driven largely by social media adoption over the past year. For example, capping off of privacy headlines in 2011, Facebook agreed to a Federal Trade Commission consent order barring the company from deceiving consumers about its privacy practices. The sanctions stemmed from privacy setting changes Facebook made in December 2009, without asking users’ permission. The sanctions also worked to re-emphasize the importance of upholding opt-in policies for social media.

In the months and years head, we believe we’ll see broader (and marketing technology enabled) availability and adoption of social opt-in features utilized by marketers on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, in their mission to establish long-term customer relationships – built on trust. The industry has been doing this with email for years, and with good success. Increasingly, we’ll see how social opt-in enables (not prohibits) marketers to establish highly personalized, relevant two-way conversations with customers and prospects. Ideally, those conversations are consistent and coordinated with other channel communications to create a positive, holistic brand experience while supporting customer loyalty and retention goals.

To learn more about our perspectives on social marketing and privacy, I recently penned a blog for iMedia Connection, “Rules for Social Media Engagement: Start with Privacy.” We also support several research firms’ work in this area, and found “The Road Map to Integrating Social and Customer Data,” a report by Forrester Research’s Zach Hofer-Shall particularly insightful. This report, licensed for download on our website, educates Customer Intelligence professionals on steps to be aware of, including privacy concerns, as they develop increasingly rich marketing databases that connect social data and customer data to improve marketing effectiveness.

What are your thoughts on the impact of increasingly connected communities and gadgets on the future of marketing and privacy?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mathieu Hannouz
Mathieu Hannouz is the senior product marketing manager at conversational marketing technology provider Neolane, Inc.. He is responsible for driving the launch of Neolane's key product features across North-America including identifying target markets and opportunities, the creation and development of messaging, positioning and launch materials. Mathieu is Neolane's resident expert on Social Marketing. You can follow him on twitter @repackaged.


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