The PR Council's Critical Issues Forum in Chicago explored using data and analytics to personalize marketing while steering clear of being 'creepy.'
CHICAGO — For all the intricacies involved in the personalization of public relations — artificial intelligence, big data and changing consumer expectations among them — marketers say avoiding the “creepy” factor in targeting audiences is one of the few non-negotiables to getting it right.
“It’s really about being transparent about what data you’re collecting, how you’re using it to make their lives better and giving them the opportunity to opt out,” said Lauren Nelson, partner lead at Google, which she says makes all its data-collection information available to users via its user activity hub.
“There’s a line between (using data) for services and advertising that is useful the other side of that is where it becomes creepy and intrusive,” she said, adding that marketers who are opaque or untoward in their use of personal data take a big risk in repelling the very consumers they are targeting. “Cross that line … and you lose trust,” she said.
Nelson was one of a number of panelists who discussed the opportunities and perils facing PR professionals as factors including technology and societal changes are fueling the rise of personalizing marketing campaigns.