Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

Speaking at Privacy Identity Innovation conference (pii2011): Building Trust in a Digital Age

By Terence Craig

I am excited to announce that I will be participating in a roundtable session at pii2011. The topic I will be discussing is something that I spend quite a bit of time on both professionally and personally: Getting Personal with Big Data.  It is a topic I have blogged about, several times including here and here and it  forms a big part of the Ebook I am co-authoring as well. (We haven’t worked out the details yet, but we got permission from our publisher, O’Reilly, to give away the first chapter of the book at the show so look for an announcement on how to get it if you will be attending.)

As a company in the big data and analytics space, it is important for us to understand the issues of privacy as it applies to big data sets, singularly and in aggregate. And while the “greater good” benefits of big data analysis are significant, our industry must also address, in a proactive way, the data privacy issues that can result. After all, if we do not, we will lose the trust of the very people that we rely on for much of our data: the consumers. And once trust is lost, much more restrictive regulations will result which will impact the many valuable benefits of big data analysis. (more…)

May 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm 2 comments

Social Media Initiatives: Marketing Fundamentals are the Same, Vehicles are Different

By Mary Ludloff

Whenever you throw a bunch of marketers in a room and say, “let’s talk about doing some social media outreach,” I can guarantee you that there will be an energetic (yelling and gesticulating) conversation with some eye rolling involved. Whenever you throw a bunch of social media experts in a room and say, “Company A does not see the value of their social media programs,” I can guarantee you that there will be an energetic (yelling and gesticulating) conversation with some eye rolling involved. Whenever you throw a bunch of software engineers in a room who have come specifically to talk with you about what you would like to see in a social media analytics tool, I can guarantee you that there will be an energetic (me yelling and gesticulating) conversation with some eye rolling (engineering and product management team) involved.

Why all the storm and dirge? Well, social media has moved from an “interesting fad” to an entrenched channel but the jury is still out on how we marketers are going to “measure success.” A recent Harvard Business Review social media study found the following:

“… nearly two thirds of the participating organizations said that they are either currently using social media channels, or have plans in the works. However, only 12 percent of the companies surveyed said they felt they were effective users of social media. These were the companies most likely to use multiple channels; use metrics for reporting; have a strategy for social media usage; and integrate social media into their overall marketing strategy.” (more…)

May 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm 1 comment

On Social Media: The Real Marketing Transformation

By Mary Ludloff

We are going to be releasing the beta version of our Social Media Analytics solution in the near future and as a result, have been steeped in what I like to call the social media monitoring versus analytics debate. As a B2B marketer I have some thoughts on this topic as do some of my B2C marketing colleagues (hah! I feel a metrics faceoff in the making) but I am going to save that discussion for our beta announcement post. That being said, the whole topic of social media got me thinking about marketing in general and how the advent of social media has had a profound effect on the way we communicate.

In the “olden” days we B2B marketers were focused on the message as in “be on message.” We spent a great deal of time on the message platform, carefully crafting messages that articulated the pain of our targeted audience and spelled out our value in words that would resonate with them. To begin the process, we’d throw a bunch of executives, our top sales performers, and one or two product marketing folks into a room and begin with this simple exercise: if our company was a car, what kind of a car would it be? Pretty silly huh? And what has this to do with messaging? (more…)

April 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm 1 comment

Location Tracking: Why You Should Care (Hint: It’s All About the Aggregation)

By Mary Ludloff

Recent update added to the end of this post.

Do you ever read tweets or Facebook walls and say to yourself, “TMI?” Do you ever wonder why people check in to Foursquare? You know, I have developed quite an affection for Twitter as an information source (and it did not begin well). In fact, it has replaced my Google news alerts and Feedburner news feed as my primary source of news and information. That being said, I find myself marveling at how some of the people I “follow” feel the need to tweet their every move:

  • Having coffee at Starbucks on name-of-street, in name-of-city.
  • Shopping at name-of-mall in name-of-city, in name-of-state.
  • Name-of-airline flight number delayed. Stuck in name-of-airport at gate number.
  • Off to name-of-city for a 5-day conference.

And I worry about them. Not about their egos (that’s another post) folks, but more about their safety. Maybe it’s because I am a woman (I can hear some of you crying “sexist”), but letting someone know where I am or where I’m not seems like I am inviting trouble. For example: if you know I am not at home, I could be burglarized or if you know where I am, I could be followed. Paranoid? Maybe, but if you’ve ever been stalked or otherwise threatened you know what I am talking about. (more…)

April 19, 2011 at 9:47 am 9 comments

Epsilon’s Data Breach: Be Careful Out There

By Mary Ludloff

On April 1 (yes, April Fools’ Day), Epsilon, one of the premier permission email marketing companies, announced the following:

“On March 30th, an incident was detected where a subset of Epsilon clients’ customer data were exposed by an unauthorized entry into Epsilon’s email system. The information that was obtained was limited to email addresses and/or customer names only. A rigorous assessment determined that no other personal identifiable information associated with those names was at risk. A full investigation is currently underway.”

What exactly is permission email marketing? Essentially, it’s what happens when you, as a loyal customer of say a store, receive an email announcing a store deal or a special offer like buy two get one free, you get the picture. Now, you may have thought this had nothing to do with you until you received emails from some of the companies that you gave your email address to so that they could “tell you” about whatever promotions they were running. Most likely, you received a number of emails from a number of different stores and banks warning about a data breach and telling you to be careful. (more…)

April 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Data Security and You: There’s Got to Be a Better Way

A non-rant rant on data security.

By Mary Ludloff

Have you ever had one of those days when you throw up your hands and simply say, “There’s got to be a better way!” Well, this is one of those days. Recently, Jenn Webb, in an O’Reilly Radar piece, asked the following:

“How much convenience are you willing to give up for security?”

Webb was talking about Google’s 2-step verification process (I remembered reading about this a couple of months ago) which essentially “jumps” the user through a number of “hoops” to ensure more secure access to Google applications. I ended my comment on the article with the following: “Google, could you have made this any more difficult for people operating in the real world to use?” And once I clicked Submit, I thought I was done. Nope. The more I thought about this, the more I felt a rant coming on. I mean, really, how hard is it for companies like Google (and many others) to come up with a user-friendly way to ensure secure access? They certainly have the money to do it and by all accounts, they definitely have the engineering talent to do it. So what’s the problem? (more…)

April 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm 1 comment

The Tax Man Cometh: A Gentle Reminder About Security

By Mary Ludloff

I have to say that I find it aggravating that my favorite time of the year (spring and March Madness) is also my least favorite: tax season. Now, I will admit that it’s not as bad as it used to be because I pay someone else to prepare my taxes (a great company that I’ve used for about 10 years now) but the simple act of getting together all the forms and then filling out the pertinent information on my tax worksheets is the singular (professional and personal) most hated task of my year. I’m not kidding—worse than any dentist or doctor’s appointment, worse than any looming book deadline (I have to plug our Ebook!), worse than a visceral reaction to any article or blog post that I’ve ever read (and I have been known to go ballistic over some of them).

As I worked through my tax preparing angst this year, I was reminded of something that is second nature to me but may not be second nature to you. (If it’s not, it’s probably because you are not a card-carrying member of the big data and analytics industry or work for a company like PatternBuilders where we spend a great deal of time exploring data privacy and security issues.) Let me explain. We had just completed our contracts for our Ebook on privacy in the age of big data when our publisher, O’Reilly, sent me some tax forms electronically to fill out and return. I promptly emailed their contract administrator and told her my form would be coming via snail mail (remember the postal service?). Why? Well my social security number was one of the required pieces of information and I do not send that number electronically. Ever. (more…)

March 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm 1 comment

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