Have you ever wondered how direct marketers know so much about you? How they know that are in the market for a particular product or service at a particular time? Data mining can be a gold mine for a direct marketer. But it can also be considered an invasion of privacy.
With data mining, a person viewing a website has a number assigned or a cookie placed, in his/her hard drive so a company can track the sites he/she is visits. This gives marketers information about that person, the sites they visit and what they are spending their money on. With this information, marketers can learn if they are in the target market for their product or service. They can personalize their message just for you. And in the end, a consumer/business relationship can begin and flourish.
However, not everyone sees it as rosy as above. Some believe it is an invasion of privacy. Some believe that if consumers are being tracked online, then they would not act themselves.
An implication that marketers need to consider is the relationship with the customer. Afterall, building a relationship is more beneficial than a one shot purchase. The relationship builds loyalty, but if a customer learns his viewing habits are being tracked, that relationship can be severed. The ball is in the consumer's court and the marketer needs to realize that.
What are your thoughts on data mining?