By applying accepted norms of offline behaviour to the world of online advertising, companies can make targeted ads pay without upsetting their customers.
You wouldn’t like it if, having shared a secret with a friend, he or she then passed that information on to a third party without your knowledge or permission. Writing for Harvard Business Review, Leslie K John, Tami Kim and Kate Barasz explain that treating customers’ digital data with honesty and transparency isn’t just the right thing to do – it also helps drive sales.
People know they’re being targeted by ads based on their browsing history, and increasingly governments are regulating to ensure that firms tell their customers about the information they gather and what they do with it. Security breaches, and the targeting of “fake news” to sway political allegiances are issues that provoke considerable anger among the public. What companies and other organisations do with people’s data is a “live” political issue; it’s vital you get your approach to it right.