Association Touts Benefits of Data-Driven Marketing

A new initiative of the Digital Marketing Association, combating negative publicity and scrutiny from lawmakers, will tell consumers why data-driven ads aren’t such a bad thing.

Do you ever wonder how Google or Facebook knows exactly which ads to place in your browser—the ones you can’t help but think are directly targeted at you?

It’s a marketing technique derived from mining people’s personal information on the internet, and it’s gotten some bad press lately.

The Digital Marketing Association (which has also faced controversy over its “do not track” stance) thinks data-driven marketing is getting a bad rap, partly thanks to recent congressional investigations. In a bid to change that, DMA—whose mission is to advance and protect data-driven marketing—announced a new initiative, the Data-Driven Marketing Institute, this week.

The $1 million campaign will focus on educating consumers and policy makers on the benefits of data mining as well as the privacy protections available to them, The New York Times reports.

“The Data-Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI) will redouble DMA’s efforts to explain the benefits of the consumer data industry to the public and policy makers, with the goal of preventing needless regulation or enforcement that could severely hamper consumer marketing and stifle innovation, tamping down unfavorable media attention, and reminding and educating consumers about the many and varied ways that their needs are met and they are thrilled and delighted,” said acting CEO and President Linda A. Woolley in a statement.

Data mining has also been getting a lot of attention lately for its use in presidential campaigns. The Times reports that together the Democratic and Republican National Committees have spent around $13 million on data acquisition this election season.

It’s helped the campaigns determine, for example, that Obama supporters are more likely to eat at Red Lobster, while Romney supporters prefer the Olive Garden.

Many consumers—66 percent—say they do not want to be targeted with tailored advertisements. DMA’s new initiative will include an “expansive research agenda” looking at the value of this type of marketing to the economy as well as the consumer.



Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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