Here's a thought to ponder over the long weekend: what if open access to the mountains of data so many of us are trying to hide or protect really could be understood as a good thing? What if the focus of the debate over data shifted from an obsession over privacy to a creative discussion of data's possible social and policy utility? Instead of focusing energy on limiting data use, how about redirecting energies to optimizing the sharing of data?
Five of the top Fortune 15 companies now use data management services from BlueKai for online ad targeting. That's how company executives describe its growth during the past six months, though they decline to name the actual companies involved (which could be, perhaps, corporate giants like Wal-Mart Stores, Exxon Mobile,General Electric, Berkshire Hathaway, General Motors, AT&T -- all part of the Fortune 15).
DataXu on Wednesday will officially launch a multichannel demand-side platform dubbed DX Brand. The system measures brand metrics such as awareness, recall, favorability, or purchase intent. Using in-ad surveys, A/B testing and multivariate decision making processes, the system determines the placements and creative pieces most likely to generate a favorable response from consumers who see them.
Congress put a spotlight on mobile privacy this week in Washington. As I argued earlier about the coming tumult over data handling on cell phones, mobile gives regulators, and the marketplace generally, something we didn't have in the privacy discussion on the Web -- two big fat likable corporate brands to help focus and personify the conversation.
Behavioral targeting could take a new turn as more companies adopt the practice of customizing Web site content, from ads to editorial. Research firm eMarketer estimated 97% of advertisers and agencies will use some form of audience targeting in 2011, but Yakov Shabat, CEO and founder of Personyze, believes the concept of behavioral targeting will change as government agencies in the U.S. and across the world implement stricter standards to protect consumer privacy.
Retargeting has been a favorite and basic model for retailers to leverage behavioral targeting for years. Following a user after he or she has visited your e-commerce site or abandoned a shopping cart has proven enormously effective for obvious reasons - the consumer's intent is unmistakable. In practice, however, the path to success in retargeting has often been less clear for some companies.
Apparently Clearspring execs have been in compliance with privacy guidelines. The company recently discovered, pending court approval, that a $3.25 million class-action lawsuit could be dismissed.