How creepy can marketing get?

By Bob Sacks on February 22, 2019
BoSacks Speaks Out: How creepy can marketing get? 
Bob Hoffman once wrote that "Advertising used to be concerned with imparting information. Today it is concerned with collecting information."
Facebook, Google, Amazon damn near every digital giant is exploring every part of your life. That is not a generic anonymous part your life, but a specific personal intrusion on every individual in the modern day ecosystem.
There is no way I can overstate that this is one of perils of our times. Among other things I am overwhelmed by the lack of integrity and propensity for pure greed at any cost. The robber barons of yesteryear have been replaced by eRobber Princelings of digital creeps.
What we need is clarity of the situation and a path to safety, because as individuals we are horrifically exposed to predators. And there doesn't seem to be a central source of protection anywhere on the horizon. Our government, a mostly geriatric group of legislators, haven't a clue about how the system works.
On that thought another Bob Hoffman quote is right on target: "We were taught to fear totalitarian governments. We feared they would know everything about us, follow us everywhere, know who we were talking to and what we were saying, and keep secret files about us which could be used to influence our lives in ways that were only vaguely visible to us. We are well on our way to such a nightmare. Except it isn't our government that knows everything about us, follows us everywhere, knows who we are talking to and what we are saying, and keeps secret files about us. It is the marketing industry."
We have been discussing these attacks on our persons for years, and it is only getting worse. And, mark my words, we don't know a fraction of what is really happening.
Hold that thought and let me present Exhibit A - the article below. It is an IBM sponsored article in Adage touting the power of Watson for marketers. These targeting examples in the article are almost but not quite benign, but they do allow us see what IBM is offering to marketers. Now let your self-preservation fears run rampant as I ask the question - what are bad guys doing with technology like this?
I try not to send out sponsored articles, but I am making an exception in this case. It is a clear and instructional example of modern data marketing 101 and many of our readers will have a greater understanding of what is going on and how it works. 

By Bob Sacks| February 22, 2019

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Bob Sacks

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