Following the hype surrounding the collection of big data by marketers, leading direct marketing firm Outsource Sydney highlight why some people consider marketing to be unethical.
As marketers continue to collect huge amounts of personal data to investigate further into consumer habits and behaviour, concerns over privacy has soared. Outsource Sydney, a direct marketing firm who rely on collecting consumer data, can empathize with consumers over their fears of their personal data being exploited, or being passed onto third party businesses. Outsource Sydney can understand why the hype surrounding the ethics of marketing has suddenly arisen.
Managing director Helen Poutakidis of Outsource Sydney says, “I don’t think people nowadays are so easily fooled into buying things they don’t want. To claim the idea of marketing the benefits of a product is frivolous. I do however agree that data collected about consumers should be regulated and the type of information obtained should be disclosed.”
The collection of data is always going to be active for businesses in most sectors. Data can be obtained in a number of ways, and sometimes without customers even realising. For example, every time you click on a website, you like something on Facebook, or you put a search term in Google, this information is being use for targeted marketing campaigns. It gives companies an idea of what the user is interested in, and the business can then choose specific advertisements to show the user, based on the information gathered. Outsource Sydney claims that collecting data in this approach is of course going to set off alarm bells where marketing ethics is concerned. However, Outsource Sydney express that businesses should seek out methods of collecting and analysing data that doesn’t compromise the customers privacy.
Hui Xiong, an associate professor of management science and information systems at Rutgers Business School, New Jersey, claims that the collection of data is just technology. It’s how companies choose to analyse the data is when ethics are questioned. His views were highlighted in an article titled, “The Ethics of Big Data”, which was published by Forbes journalist Ellen Rooney Martin on 27th March 2014. Hui Xiong’s solution for collecting and analysing data ethically, is for businesses to create algorithms that identify patterns, whilst protecting individual identities. He says, “If data shows 50 people following a specific pattern, stop there and act on that data rather mining further and potentially exposing individual behaviour.” Outsource Sydney, agree that this will be an effective method that consumers will feel comfortable with.
Outsource Sydney is an outsourced sales and marketing firm, with offices in Sydney and Perth. The firm specialises in direct marketing methods, which allows them to personally interact with their customers to collect data. This approach allows consumers to give as much or as little information to the firm as they wish. The firm delivers compelling marketing campaigns for a range of clients within the telecommunications, security and energy sectors.