Avoid “creepy marketing” by using permission marketing

by. George Lawton

Marketers across all industries face an increasingly uphill battle reaching a receptive audience for their products and services. While omni-channel marketing options may seem endless in this digital age, sometimes it feels like one step forward and two steps back due to heightened legal and regulatory scrutiny.

Many applaud laws that have restricted what I’ll call “interruption/annoyance marketing” such as robo-calling and massive email blasts (spam). This is largely because those are common practices of “bad actors” that cast a dark shadow over the broader ethical marketing community. But the regulatory spotlight is also now shining on newer marketing tactics deployed by well-intended marketers.

Creative attempts to reach targeted audiences with custom messaging (sounds like a good thing, right?) are being greeted with threats of new laws. These laws would restrict efforts such as targeted ads (online behavioral advertising) and certain uses of Big Data. Regulators are concerned that tracking and combining online and offline information about an individual–sometimes without knowledge or consent, and sometimes including sensitive information– and using that data to present targeted offers can easily cross the line from useful marketing to “creepy marketing”.

Frankly, there is more noise and swirl now than anything. –

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