Google Has Matured
First, there was googling: search a person's name to find out whether they were scary freaks of nice maladjusted suburbanites with all their perversions safely hidden under a nice veneer. Now there's counter-googling, where marketing firms use Google to search out information on people in order to either target them for advertising, or customize services. According to the article, blogs are a particularly juicy source of personal information that is much more detailed than any internal marketing database.
On the marketer's side of things, TRENDWATCHING.COM sees a massive opportunity for COUNTER-GOOGLING experts; specialized companies who'll be Googling customers non-stop on behalf of 1:1 marketing-prone corporations like airlines, banks, hotels, e-tailers and car manufacturers. A logical extension for direct marketing companies, who until now have only collect broad socio-demographic data.
I can't explain why, but I've always had a sort of distaste for digging up personal information on people and selling it to all comers, even as I helped some of the biggest data syndicators build systems that made it possible. Worse, I'm sure that this information will eventually be absorbed into all government databases popping up everywhere [see earlier posts].
How to get started? Ask your sales department for a list of 25 recent first-time customers (names and addresses), start COUNTER-GOOGLING, and be amazed at what you'll find, learn and dream up! Repeat for 25 long-time clients. Then, reap profits ;-)
Counter-googling proves one thing at least: Google has matured as a technology. It may now be used for evil as well as good.
Posted by Mark Tuesday, September 09, 2003 6:27:00 PM |