In order to properly address this topic, I believe there are two significantly different angles that need to be explored. The first angle is building customer loyalty and retaining customers through building a better experience. Many companies use purchasing trends and history to predict demand and adjust inventory levels accordingly. As technology has advanced companies have employed complex algorithms and provide product recommendations based upon browsing history, demographics, behavioral, and preference data. These advanced tools provide a better experience by pairing consumers with products that reflect personal preferences.
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The second angle is where marketers have personal information that has surpassed simple buying enhancement and moved toward the realm of malicious intrusion into someone’s life and identity theft. When the individual’s data turns into profiling that is provided to other companies or people by request or purchase but not approved by the individual then that is a problem. The key is individuals understanding the potential uses of the collected information and provided consent of the individual. Cell phones play a large role in profiling as they have utilized behavioral science to make them as addictive as possible to the point that it can be damaging to building repour with other people. The constant notifications of deals or friends posting on Facebook have turned them into great tools of convenience and advanced profiling tools. There should be different levels of consent for those who wish to enhance their shopping experience but not have their data used for any other purpose. Antitrust laws will need to undergo significant changes to make these modifications a priority otherwise it may never happen.
Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2014). Marketing management (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall
I really enjoyed reading and responding to this week’s discussion and look forward to gaining the different perspectives from the class. I can honestly say that I am torn. The first question I had to stop and ask myself is what is “personal information” in this instance? Everyone has different views, but most do not realize that certain information like your name, job, area where you reside, tagged location, and so much more are likely listed on your social media platform or public knowledge in public records already. On the other hand, as someone that is prior military, personal information and data security was always an important topic. By providing personal information to other parties allows for vulnerability of the data being exposed or security breaches that leak information. For instance, most of us have been on Facebook at one point or another and I’m sure are all aware of the data breach a couple of years ago that exposed over 530 million users in 106 countries in the past (Bowman, 2021). The risk begins the moment a consumer agrees, but once that data is out there, regardless of the original intent or benefit from the consumer to the marketer it can’t be taken back especially in breached cases. This risk is also apparent to over 79% Americans that are somewhat concerned about how the companies will use their data, but over 80% don’t feel like they have control over the data initially (Sonnemaker, 2019). With that being said, I cannot say that I haven’t appealed to or been drawn to certain incentives such as a loyalty program, contest, or even social media interactions that benefit me as well as the business by providing certain information. One benefit is that while a consumer is giving out their information, they are also sometimes able to provide feedback to that business. Another item to keep in mind is that even if consumers provide their personal information there is always a way to unsubscribe or remove oneself. While that may require more work on the consumer, the option is still there. However, we have all been taught that once something is out there on the internet it lives forever even if the end consumer does not directly see it. As a result, I would lean on the side that marketers receive more benefits while consumers weigh more risks in giving out their personal information.