Recently we attended ‘Incubeta Ignite – 2020 a Decade in Focus’ organised by NMPi at Google’s Kings Cross office – and what a great event it was.
Incredibly well organised, and the thing that surprised us the most was the excellent timing control on the talks, which is something that usually doesn’t happen when speakers have only 15 minutes to speak.
Several talks were held about the future of digital marketing and technology, there was a very interesting case study about Bremont watches; but the one that I found most interesting was about data.
Now I know you’re rolling your eyes and thinking “more data talks?!” – however, this one put a new light into the way we have to think about it. Data is not the monster, humans are.
With the introduction of (let’s go back a few years) the internet and more recently (ish) smartphones, people of all ages and of all places got involved and a bigger percentage of the world is now connected. For example, Africa in 2005 saw only 2% of the population connected whereas now its closer to 25%. So this means a lot more people have a lot more access to a lot more information from a lot more sources.
Consumers are now preoccupied about data and think that data sharing with companies is this big monster. This has become the new data status in our lives, that it is a rival. In the press it is portrayed as dirty, the public is now concerned and feels like they are under surveillance.
Myth 1: data sharing is surveillance of the individuals. The answer is no. Surveillance means careful watching of a person, but data is aggregate and anonymous.
Myth 2: data is an issue. The answer is no. People are the issue and their exploitation of data. People were behind the Facebook campaigns of Trump and Brexit, not data alone.
So how can we as marketers stop the bad purposes and how can we stop being perceived as bad people? And most importantly, how can we stop making data the monster?
We have to be clear on how we are using data. We have to make sure it is secure in our hands and through the organisation we work for. We have to use it for helpful purposes and use it for aid, not obstruction – successful ads do not obstruct. And we have to be honest – something that lacked on the Brexit and Trump campaigns – about the message, to make sure it resonates and doesn’t mislead.
Data can be an important force for good – it doesn’t need to scare the public.
By Filipa Portela
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