Digital Privacy and Consumers
Most shoppers move through stores unaware of the beacons, lighting, sound signals, barcodes, and purchase histories that retailers use to track them and to decide how to treat them. Media expert Joseph Turow details this unfolding shopping revolution and assesses its repercussions in his book The Aisles Have Eyes. The book reveals how digital honesty is becoming a concept that is overlooked as personal data is collected without a consumer’s knowledge. There are many reasons why data is collected from consumers, how the data is handled is critical for consumer loyalty and understanding.
Why data is collected:
- Understand consumer wants and needs
- Promote a product
- Personalize messaging
- Determine a price
Privacy and Advertising
Aggressive consumer advertising and tracking is not only found in stores, but also online as we browse and shop. Macy’s, Target, and Walmart are among the retailers who using data mining, in-store tracking, and predictive analytics to change the way consumers buy and the way they are marketed to. “Between google, the IRS, and your credit card company, there are no secrets,” says Kevin Krason, Biznet President.
Privacy is shrinking with the new technology that marketers have available to them. Advertisers are now using more personal information to make their advertising more profitable and accurate than ever. Digital privacy is constantly evolving as every interaction through a digital device leaves a record that can later be searched, cross-referenced, duplicated, and potentially used to aid them in personalizing their marketing for your needs.
This means that by doing internet searches, using social media, downloading an app, visiting a website, watching a smart TV, or using free Wi-Fi, consumers provide businesses with data to boost marketing efforts and improve solutions for consumer problems.
Where data is collected:
- Online stores
- Social media
- Retail and grocery stores
- Search engines
Integrity and Business
Unethical marketers can raise concerns about the integrity consumers expect from businesses and the expectations of honesty and strong moral principles. By invading the privacy of consumers and using personal data unethically, businesses may not uphold this trait as much as they previously have. They use consumer data for more than personalized advertising and may even sell data to make profit for themselves. The availability of new technologies has taken away much of the privacy of digital use and some businesses have used it for their own profitability. Some consumers and marketers are no longer aware that marketing and advertising are crossing a line into shopping choices and personal life. These businesses are losing this concept of integrity and being dishonest in the tactics they use to get their information to sell their products.
Marketing and Digital Privacy
As marketers, we track what consumers are viewing, which websites they are browsing, and which purchases they make. Data collected is used to enhancement the user’s experience, often highlighting additional offerings that may match their shopping patterns. Privacy has diminished with the emergence of new marketing and advertising technologies and tactics. Transparency is an extremely important value to be honored. For marketers, this means being open to your consumers about the data you gather, how you get it, and what you do with it. Marketers need to respect that consumer data is personal. Misusing such data can result in negative repercussions for both the consumer and your business. Precautions need to be exercised if consumer data is collected.
What This Means For Marketers
At Biznet, we are experts at helping companies leverage marketing technologies transparently to improve the customer experience. Check out our digital marketing services page to see all we can do to help you learn more about digital privacy and marketing. Or give us a call at 248-560-9000.