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The diagram below illustrates my approach. First I research: what are the hot topics (Google Trends)?  What keywords are target consumers using (Keyword Planner tool)?  Then I’ll set up robust mechanisms to evaluate the creative, focused communications plan that I’ll implement.


Customer consent – the new battleground?

Customer data is the essential fuel of effective marketing.  Is customer consent the new battleground?

Many people are happy to give brands their data in exchange for “free” social media platforms or online information. This is the essential fuel and makes more personalized and effective marketing possible.  But customers become concerned if they think their data is being secretly gathered by third parties through web trackers, cookies and device identification.  For all that, there has been no real customer consent.

Customer consent

Some tracking technologies and data-gathering techniques are simple and helpful to consumers.  They help to give them a targeted and  useful browsing experience.  But consumers don’t like to think that their search activity might be used to create a very sensitive personal profile – perhaps around their medical condition.  That is where data consent may be withdrawn and marketers’ ability to understand and communicate effectively will be reduced.


And there’s a new battleground around clarity and transparency too.  Every organisation in the online marketing space needs to make its privacy policy clear.  It must be open about exactly what it does with customers’ data.  After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is no wonder that the ethical issues of digital marketing are now top of the agenda.  Apple has just announced a new policy on web trackers.  The next version of its Safari browser will give users the option to turn off trackers.  Data is being used in AI to do things like content creation on websites or to guide chatbots.  People often mistake these chatbots for real humans online or on the phone.  How and when our data is used in AI applications is another new battleground.  But whether  data is used for digital advertising, AI or social media feeds, customer consent is needed.  If brands are transparent and clear, this will prevent customer data from becoming the new battleground.

Inspired by an article in Catalyst magazine, 3Q 2018

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