We all provide, wittingly or unwittingly, personal information through websites, online forms, tweets and Facebook posts. In isolation they are pretty innocuous, but when aggregated they become very powerful.

The internet is written in ink

A while back I wrote a post called with the internet our past is written in ink, not pencil highlighting that once we’ve posted that comment, video or photo it is there forever. It will come back to haunt us – probably at the most inopportune time – like at an interview or when you are standing for MP.

Put another way, which is very opportune as we are just about to head out to the TIBCO User Conference in Las Vegas,  “What happens in Vegas, stays on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter”.

But if all this data is aggregated and put in the hands of a customer service team at any company, then they could probably anticipate your every whim. But how far do they go before you feel your privacy is being invaded. Below is a video, which seems to take this to an extreme, but all the data is available to be this intrusive.

Question: at what point in the video do you feel that it is becoming creepy?

Insightful or creepy?


But a little of the right data used sensitively can be very powerful.  Take the example of Citibank. They have spotted that when you put your card into an ATM they have your undivided attention until it reappears with the cash you requested. My bank offers me the same as every other customer who uses the ATM; cellphone top up and insurance.  None of this is tailored based on the huge amounts of data they have on me.

Take a knowledge of the customer, tailor the offer and then use the ATM to spit out a money-off voucher for a local store and are onto a winner. What is even better is that this is simple to test and fine tune.

Social media has changed the game… but also the rules

No longer can a marketeer shout their message at us. Instead they need to engage us in a conversation, which they need to be invited to join.


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