No doubt, you will find a wide variety of feeling among consumers about BT, since people have widely different sensitivities and levels of understanding about what’s involved with profiling.
So I was interested to read about a new study that showed some BT-favorable trends, but I felt less and less impressed as I dug in:
A survey that polled 1,000 consumers found that 45% are open to marketers using this technique to send them more relevant offers, provided they have the ability to opt out.
Some 35% said behavioural targeting helped them discover new products, 34% said it could save time and 29% said it makes online shopping easier, the Dynamic Markets survey found.
Unfortunately, they didn’t mention the percentage who aren’t “open to” BT (or if/how they measured the strength of that feeling). And while they mention later that the study was commissioned by Coremetrics, they should have mentioned that Coremetrics uses cookie-based tracking for their own service and also makes it’s business in marketing analytics for merchants and marketers who are using BT.
It gets worse — there’s no link to the study itself (and there wasn’t one easily findable at the Coremetrics site), but they mention a firm called Dynamic Markets, which, if it is the same as this Dynamic Markets, doesn’t blow you away with their website.
But I did like this navigation button on their site, which sort of summed it up well.
Why do firms invest in this kind of PR — does it really pay off? Why do writers like Warwick Ashford and publications like Computer Weekly pass it through to us without any real qualification?