Small business owners are often preoccupied with operating their companies, and may not realize the extent to which “big data” marketing and cybersecurity impact their very livelihoods.
Although the internet’s wide swath of connectivity offers nearly unlimited business possibilities, it simultaneously exposes every business’s wired and wireless computers, devices and employees to global cybersecurity threats. With stunning rapidity, the world has shifted from a time when it was impossible to easily communicate with pocket-sized devices, to an era in which one often cannot escape much of the internet’s pervasive effects, even if he or she so desires.
Luis Hernandez, senior vice president and digital strategist at Cedar Knolls-based Marketsmith, tells New Jersey Business, “Mailing lists have always been available, but [now] you can connect someone’s physical location with everything they do online from a behavior perspective – and then also connect it down to their individual device, so you can tell when that person is using their mobile phone, versus their computer, versus a tablet in the evening. [You] can track not just who they are or what they are interested in, but what they are seeing, what they are seeing over time, and what they are purchasing.
“Surprisingly, [these people] have very typically opted in to give this information away at one point or another. Without realizing it, they have really provided all the connective tissue needed to draw a very precise – a very data rich portrait – of them as individuals. Essentially, I think the only [consumer] protection is just the interests of the organizations that hold this data.”
Such consumer data is not merely available to the mega corporations of the world: Small businesses can engage firms to discover the exact prospective customers to be targeted with certain advertisements, and also broader campaigns that entice people to purchase products and services via various techniques and tactics. Merely having a display banner advertisement “follow” a consumer across the internet is elementary; the timing of when and where to display the ad or other approach becomes an intricate mosaic.
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