My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: FLOW vs “Private” Citizens - Customer Information on Company Databases

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FLOW vs “Private” Citizens - Customer Information on Company Databases

Behavioral Targeted Advertising, as stated in the article “Study: Like it or not, behavioral ad targeting works”, published March 24, 2010 9:01 AM PDT by Caroline McCarthy, CNET News – The Social.

It is not a new concept, as Google uses this type of advertising where in which advertisements are sent to Customers based on user preferences that are being tracked whenever users visit and use the services of certain websites such as Social Networks e.g. Google Buzz, Facebook, Twitter, email or any other website which offers a service to which the user must register and which makes the majority of its revenue from advertising.

This is in stark contrast to the complaints of the supposedly “private citizens” who seem to be up in arms with the publication of their phone numbers in the Telecom Provider LIME sponsored Phone Directory.

Despite not taking the time to read the company’s policy guidelines as the Phone Directory is itself a form of Behavioral Targeted Advertising as only persons who have made a posting in the Telecom Provider LIME sponsored Phone Directory.

Or who voluntarily submitted their information to Triple Play Provider FLOW are thus published, as according to the article “Privacy breached - FLOW clients railing against Directory Listings”, published January 31st 2010, by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Sunday Gleaner.

This is the accepted trade-off among Internet users for getting "free" services online: the company has the opportunity to make money from the sale of their database of subscriber preferences to Third Party Advertisers e.g. Doubleclick, Google, etc., data that is collected based on the surfing habits of its subscribers.

This level of intrusiveness and recording of surfing habits, albeit a bit disconcerting, helps to make the use of Internet services better. This as the website records the subscribers preferences and produces results that result in greater subscriber satisfaction and translates into increased purchases by subscribers who are more inclined to click on advertising banner ads and links that are hosted on the website.

Naturally, their legal restrictions on the type of information that can be recorded and collected in the website administrators database i.e. health problems, disabilities, sexual orientation.

Curiously enough, most people who have grown up with the Internet and are used to the informal nature of interaction on the Internet are a lot less concerned about their privacy, as stated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the article “Why no one cares about privacy anymore”, published March 12, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Declan McCullagh CNET News - Politics and Law.

So Telecom Provider Digicel using Facebook to choose the next Digicel Rising Stars Host will not be met with much resistance and most likely will be a welcomed form of Behavioral Targeted Advertising in keeping with their objectives as it relates to the launch of Digicel WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) by targeting the very lucrative Generation Y (age 12-28) and Generation X (aged 29-45) market.

Baby Boomers (29-90) who are Recession wary, are not inclined to spend and making their new Marketing push into Television in the form of DigiTV and High Speed Internet in the form of WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d).

Thus the appearance of a Telecom Provider Digicel that is more customizable, much in the same way that Telecom Provider Digicel’s fans that use Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networking websites.

A leaf out of Telecom Provider Digicel advertising book that Telecom Provider CLARO, Telecom Provider LIME and Triple Play Provider FLOW could adopt as it relates to the usage of Social Networking to gauge and fine tune the receptiveness of Customers for their products, thereby resulting in more improved products that Consumers want, thus garnering increased revenues. 

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