Columbia Pictures is releasing the movie version of “Lone Ranger” in 2013 with the tag line of “Never Take Off the Mask.” Its pre-release publicity is timely as an example for both marketing executives and top management to understand the most current trend in global marketing: browsing, tracking and multi-platform distribution of content to prospective buyers. In combination, these technologies offer marketing teams never before imaginable abilities to identify shoppers down to real names, locations and email addresses. Companies are then able to integrate messaging (aka “ads”) simultaneously for the generation of multi-taskers, to wit, those of us who watch TV, surf the Internet and post comments in real time on Twitter or FaceBook, etc.. We are all unmasked.
Amazon, for one, is able to analyze purchase and internal site browsing behaviors by individuals to give insights into how different cohorts of people, like moms or teens, spend time on Amazon or, more broadly, the Internet. The company is then able to run tailored banners and ads across their connected platforms such as Kindle, Fire and mobile devices. This connectivity is tied to paid advertising to reach Amazon’s customers globally and on multiple platforms. Thus advertising is additive, simultaneous and based on an individual’s lifestyle and product category interests. This is a compelling advancement in the ability to construct messaging to shoppers at different stages of the “buying funnel,” distribute the messages simultaneously over multiple platforms, and extend the campaign throughout the purchase cycle.
MTV and PepsiCo are working together across multiple platforms exposing individuals in their target market space to time their messaging to appear while the current generation of multi-taskers are surfing the web and tweeting, whether on their smart phones, tablets or computers.
The counterpoint to this powerful new marketing weapon is the ethics of personal privacy. Companies like Amazon, Rapleaf and Dataium access nonpublic personal information and claim to bundle the data to protect privacy. It is asserted that this practice, called “anonymization,” protects personal private data, but that specific data is nonetheless available, thus enabling abuse.
We will deal with the balance of opportunity and risk, as we do with all Oak & Apple customer matters in a future post.
Please comment on Twitter or here about your experience with these technologies or opinions about the privacy versus enhanced shopping experience which these technologies offer.