A question that is often asked is “Why do they ask for personal information just to sign up?”.   This is a common question especially following recent reports about hacked online accounts and sabotaged personal information. Privacy concerns are raised especially to first-party data companies like Facebook.  Since technology is rapidly changing, there should be a method to identify a target audience and customer information while keeping their privacy intact and secure.

Deterministic methods require the consumer to enter information (logins, registration data, physical addresses,etc.) allowing a company to determine who a specific user is. It is a direct way of collecting personal data, however it raises privacy issues for first-party companies because that information is not just used for their platform, but to third parties as well.  

Probabilistic methods are quite different.  These methods use a data science approach to collect usable and relative customer data across multiple channels to build user profiles with anonymous data. With this information they can predict the behavior of a target audience based on similar known profiles.  Probabilistic methods are an effective way of collecting information without using specific, personal information, thus safeguarding privacy.

With customer data in their hands, companies need to assess how they will be able to leverage that data and should focus on scale and most importantly, accuracy. In order to do that effectively, a company must be able to provide a multi-platform reach of digital consumers to effectively gather all possible data without asking the user for specific and personal information. With the vast variety of technology and analytics we have today, scaling business and advertisement becomes possible. While this may require intense effort, scaling helps the collection and analyzation of online and offline data to record customer behavior and activities and launch a marketing campaign based on the user data. When scaled, probabilistic methods are greatly effective in advertising for not just an audience, but a specific target group.

A company’s campaign should be as accurate as possible.  This approach will give a competitive edge over other advertisers and marketing companies that are also trying to grab customers with their ads.  The more accurate data a company has access to in both in quantity and diversity, the more sophisticated it can get with its direct targeting and direct marketing.

In conclusion, companies need to focus on the consumer and offer a unique and personalized user experience. However, this needs to the accomplished with the consumer’s privacy factored into any campaign decisions. With the amount of data and methods available today, probabilistic methods allow companies to continue running highly targeted and personal campaigns while ensuring the anonymity that consumers demand today.

Photo Credits: Eyerys

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