Posts tagged ‘Twitter’

Privacy, Big Data, Civil Rights, and Personalization Versus Discrimination: When does someone else’s problem become ours?

By Mary Ludloff

There has been a great deal of media attention on the benefits of big data (just look at our @bigdatapbi twitter stream) lately. Certainly, PatternBuilders has been busy helping financial markets become more efficient, working with data scientists on various research projects, as well as helping other businesses with their big data initiatives. In fact, there are a number of companies (like ours) that are making significant strides in reducing the costs associated with legacy big data systems, helping to move big data out of the early adopter phase and into the mainstream. But as technology innovates, there is usually some “bad” thrown in with all that good. Such is the case with big data and privacy.

Two thought provoking articles on privacy were published this month—both considering privacy through a civil rights prism. In “Big data is our generation’s civil rights issue, and we don’t know it,” Alistair Croll states that:

“Personalization” is another word for discrimination. We’re not discriminating if we tailor things to you based on what we know about you — right? That’s just better service.”

(more…)

August 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm 1 comment

Privacy and Big Data: Post-Book Thoughts, Mary’s POV

By Mary Ludloff

Well, our book is almost done—it’s now in production phase and Terence and I are finished with most of the heavy writing (unless our editor has some additional thoughts!). In terms of time, it really has not been that long since we signed on to do it—less than six months from initial concept to publication date.  In terms of thought and brain-power, well now, that’s a very different story!

It has been a long, arduous, sometimes acrimonious (in the nicest possible way, of course) journey. You know, working for a small, privately held company means that even in the best of times, you already have multiple jobs so when you add writing a book on top of those, you tend to get a little fractured. This means that your family and friends may get a wee bit irritated with you because you simply do not have time and even when you do, you are usually talking about some aspect of privacy. So, to all my friends and family (Terence can mea culpa in his own post) thank you for being so understanding and for reading and reviewing our chapters! (more…)

August 29, 2011 at 7:46 am 4 comments

Social Media Analytics: What is the Value of a Hug?

By Mary Ludloff

You know it’s going to be an interesting day when the CEO (that would be Terence) who also happens to be your esteemed co-blogger asks: “How much is a hug really worth?” This question was brought about by a recent article on how banks are using social media analytics tools to gain insights about their products and services. Here’s a direct quote from the article:

“Though she gets asked a lot about the ROI of social media, SunTrust’s Buckridee acknowledges that it’s hard to measure the ROI on goodwill generated through positive social media conversations. My question is, how do you measure the ROI of a hug? … Because that’s what we’re doing with the Twitter team. We’re putting a face to the brand — giving them a human voice and talking to them. We’re focused on building loyalty. … We’re starting to turn that thorny dialogue into happy customer tweets.”

Okay. Well, first of all, as most marketers will tell you, “hugs” have value. Actually, what most marketers will tell you is this: “You better be able to measure the value of that hug so that you can justify how much you are willing to spend to get it and show just how that ‘spend’ results in sales.” Because if you don’t, you may find yourself standing in front of a CEO (say from a fortune 500 company) and when you tell him that you grew Facebook friends by 20%, have the CEO reply, “I don’t care how many friends we have! I need more revenue!” True story (and believe me, every marketer has at least one of these). (more…)

May 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

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

Analytics Round Up and a Word (or Two) About TweetDeck

By Mary Ludloff

While the tech and real (by that, I mean everyone else) world has been focused on mobile and location tracking this week (see my previous post which came out the day before the big iPhone location file reveal—I just had to say it), I am afraid some interesting analytics news and a certain story about TweetDeck may have been missed amidst all the noise. So in case you missed them, here are some analytics links you might want to visit:

  • Look out CIOs as analytics are taking over your company! Marriott is using analytics to personalize its room pricing model (as in don’t use the mini-bar, pay a higher room rate), Progressive Insurance is analyzing peoples’ credit scores to determine who to insure (as in good credit scores mean good insurance risks), and Harrah’s wants to know the best way to personally incent you to come back to their casinos (as in which works better, a free room or a $50 in chips).
  • Watch out delinquent New York state tax payers as this state has embraced analytics in a big way. Using analytics the state was able to recover “$83 million in delinquent taxes—an 8% increase from 2009 and double the annual increase from previous years.”
  • Social analytics may have started in the PR world, but it has, of course, gone mainstream. Per the embedded video in this post, companies must first understand their objectives, identify the metrics that will determine success, and then ensure that there are mechanisms in place to track those metrics whether they are working with an agency or doing it themselves.
  • Did you know that YouTube has finally given its partners some useful analytics? You used to have to figure this “stuff” out yourself by culling through the downloadable spreadsheets but they now offer a number of reports that will make life much easier for any YouTube partner.

And now a final word on my favorite Twitter dashboard, TweetDeck (a plug and a plea as they really need to make the font size customizable so I won’t have to buy a magnifying glass to read my Twitter feeds). If you were worried that Twitter’s possible acquisition of TweetDeck could mean the end of TweetDeck as we know it, think again! TechCrunch does a great job analyzing what could happen should UberMedia or Twitter acquire TweetDeck and why it’s very good to be TweetDeck!

That’s it for now. Next week we have some news to share about something we’ve been working on for a while (can you say Social Media Analytics) so keep us on your radar screen!

April 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm Leave a comment

Your Expectation of Privacy: Think Before You Share

By Mary Ludloff

I am often surprised (okay, taken aback) by what I find out about someone on the Internet. It seems to me that most people have an expectation of privacy that simply does not exist. I know, I know, you have privacy settings that you use for your various accounts—but have you googled yourself lately?

Case in point. My nephew graduated from college recently and he asked me for some help regarding his job search. I think that he expected me to edit his resume, help with cover letters, and run him through some standard interview questions. Which I did. (more…)

February 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm 1 comment


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