Data Miners love data. The more data they have the better model they can build. Consumers do not love data so much and find sharing data generally a cumbersome task. They need to be incentivize for filling out survey forms , and for signing to loyalty programs. Lawyers, and privacy advocates love to use examples of improper data collection and usage as the harbinger of an ominous scenario. George Orwell’s 1984 never “mentioned” anything about Big Brother trying to sell you one more loan, credit card or product.
Data generated by customers is now growing without their needing to fill out forms and surveys. This data is about their preferences , tastes and choices and is growing in size and depth because it is generated from social media channels on the Internet.It is this data that can be and is captured by social media analytics.
Mobile data is also growing, including usage of location based applications and usage of Internet from the mobile phone is leading to further increases in data about consumers.Increasingly , location based applications help to provide a much more relevant context to the data generated. Just mobile data is expected to grow to 15 exabytes by 2015.
People want to have more and more conversations online publicly , share pictures , activity and interact with a large number of people whom they have never met. But resent that information being used or abused without their knowledge.
Also the Internet is increasingly being consolidated into a few players like Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook, who are unable to agree on agreements to share that data between themselves. Interestingly you can use Yahoo as a data middleman between Google and Facebook.
At the same time, more and more purchases are being done online by customers and Internet advertising has grown much above the rate of growth of other mediums of communication.
Internet retail sales have the advantage that better demand predictability can lead to lower inventories as retailers need not stock up displays to look good. An Amazon warehouse need not keep material to simply stock up it shelves like a K-Mart does.
Our Hypothesis – An Analogy with how Financial Data Marketing is managed offline
- Financial information regarding spending and saving is much more sensitive yet the presence of credit bureaus alleviates these concerns.
- Credit bureaus collect information from all sources, aggregate and anonymize the individual components accordingly.They use SSN as a unique identifier.
- The Internet has a unique number too , called the Internet Protocol Address (I.P)
- Should there be a unique identifier like Internet Security Number for the Internet to ensure adequate balance between the need for privacy as well as the need for appropriate targeting?
After all, no one complains about privacy intrusions if their credit bureau data is aggregated , rolled up, and anonymized and turned into a propensity model for sending them direct mailers.
Advertising using Social Media and Internet
1. A business creates an ad
Let’s say a gym opens in your neighborhood. The owner creates an ad to get people to come in for a free workout.
2. Facebook gets paid to deliver the ad
The owner sends the ad to Facebook and describes who should see it: people who live nearby and like running.
The right people see the ad
3. Facebook only shows you the ad if you live in town and like to run. That’s how advertisers reach you without knowing who you are.
Adding in credit bureau data and legislative regulation for anonymizing and handling privacy data can expand the internet selling market, which is much more efficient from a supply chain perspective than the offline display and shop models.
Privacy Regulations on Marketing using Internet data
Should laws on opt out and do not mail, do not call, lists be extended to do not show ads , do not collect information on social media. In the offline world, you can choose to be part of direct marketing or opt out of direct marketing by enrolling yourself in various do not solicit lists. On the internet the only option from advertisements is to use the Adblock plugin if you are Google Chrome or Firefox browser user. Even Facebook gives you many more ads than you need to see.
One reason for so many ads on the Internet is lack of central anonymize data repositories for giving high quality data to these marketing companies.Software that can be used for social media analytics is already available off the shelf.
The growth of the Internet has helped carved out a big industry for Internet web analytics so it is a matter of time before social media analytics becomes a multi billion dollar business as well. What new developments would be unleashed in this brave new world is just a matter of time, and of course of the social media data!