Companies collecting data

How much is too much – are marketers being irresponsible with data?

As a new participation task for CRM course I was asked to make a blog post in our Virtual Learning Environment about the text our lecturer shared. The suggest text was discussing relation of privacy and CRM in a comical, tongue-in-a-cheek way that shows marketers obsession with data collection, and consumers dislike for it.

It got me thinking.

It is truth no one anymore knows what is acceptable – how much data should companies have on us?
I was recently involved in a internet discussion about using Google Edu in the classroom. One teacher was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of notorious Google collecting data from young students. As a marketer I tried to explain that any data gathered is usually used as an insight in consumers preferences; it is highly improbable it would be used to do harm.

However one has to wonder, how much is too much? Also, who guarantees our privacy and security is in the right hands?

As marketers, we analyze consumers behavior. We try to gain insight into consumers emotions, and mind (or as we call it affect and cognition). But when is it enough? We analyze consumers behavior and habits. What is next? An insight into human mind? When is it enough? And who draws the line?
In reality, it is our job as marketers to practice responsible marketing. Once, it meant choosing appropriate advertisements, and developing non-misleading marketing campaigns. Now we can add responsible data gathering, management and use.
After all, we are in era of consumer-oriented marketing. Consumers are telling us they had enough. Isn’t it time to listen?
For more interesting articles on data misuse check this awesome open letter to irresponsible marketers, or this article on misuse of big data.
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