Are you a digital stalker?
About remarketing, privacy and intrusive advertising
Most of the time, I am using an aggressive script blocker. I don’t see a lot of advertising. But now and then, I pause my script blocker to use the full function of a site.
Isn’t it funny? Most of the “free offers” are not free – I offer my data in return. With my background in data mining, I am aware how much small pieces of data tell about you. When I quantify the perceived value of my data, the marketer offering me a free book loses.
The value of your data
Do you have any idea how much marketers (or anyone else) can learn about you through a few pieces of seemingly irrelevant data?
I am not talking about obvious things. For instance, that an insurance company knows the minute you get diabetes what your next diseases will be and what you will cost until the day you die. Oh, and when you die.
Knowing your favorite wine and which book you purchase might allow me to know your gender orientation. Your browsing history, which social networks you use, where you live and at which time you post adds to the picture.
Why not just use your real name when you go to that shady site? I can buy the data to see if you were there.
“I have nothing to hide”, you might think. In 2009, the then CEO of Google, Schmidt famously said:
If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
Yet, he is not live streaming when he is using the bathroom, or is he? If you have something that you don’t want people to see, maybe you should not be using your bathroom in the first place.
There is a difference between having dirty secrets and exposing yourself to exploitation. The opposite of privacy is transparency – not “shady person”.
The first rule of data is: Every piece of data that is stored anywhere can and will be hacked at some point.
A law has just passed that allows ISP’s to sell your data, including browsing history without your consent. What if the government tomorrow decides they want to get rid of gays? Or any other grouping or minority?
What if your insurance cancelled your policy for you unhealthy lifestyle?
State Farm offers their clients a discount if they agree to install some thingy in their cars that transmits information from your board computer and your driving. Insurances pay the experts well for NOT paying out claims. Why collect this kind of data if you are not planning to use it?
Do you want your insurance to know you did go to the checkup your board computer suggested after you caused an accident?
Would you want everyone to know where you’ve been? If you were speeding? If your “check engine” light is on?
You better say “yes” if you are using retargeting, remarketing or intrusive ads against your buyers.
We must stop differentiating between “real life” and the internet. There is only one life. If we are jerks on the internet we are just jerks.
Hunter or the hunted
The mindset of most marketers is that they have to hunt their prey. And that’s what you are really doing if you use mechanisms to break through ad-blockers.
How about remarketing and showing ads to people who left your site? They would have signed up to your newsletter if they wanted to hear from you, wouldn’t they?
Maybe a few people will buy after you digitally stalked them. How about all the people who will never buy from you for it?
Being interesting and trustworthy enough is the way to go. Do that and clients will be interested in the value you offer.
There is no sustainable shortcut to providing value. That is all to say about that. If you treat potential clients like prey, you might have a quick sale – a sustainable relationship with a client you have not.
We all feel that we have something our clients need to see and it IS hard to grab someone’s attention nevertheless create a lasting bond that makes them come back.
How can you expect your potential buyers to care about you if you clarify that you don’t care about them? They’ll trust you as much as the next bully or thief.
There is a long way between a man raping a woman and a marketer forcing his ads on people. But, think about it, it’s kind of the same mindset, isn’t it?
Some of us go as far as creating fake social proof, buying fake reviews and much more – as if we know that we are not trustworthy.
Or are you different?
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