What are Data Brokers?

Data brokers, also known as information resellers, data vendors or information brokers, are companies that collect consumer information from a wide variety of sources to create a detailed profiles of individuals. Then in return the sell or share this information with others. The below info-graphic shows how the data is being collected.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, consumers have the right to learn what information data brokers have compiled about them but do not have a right to “opt out”, that is, to prevent data brokers from collecting, sharing, or publishing their personal information and do not have the right to require data brokers to correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information. This seems like a invasion of privacy from a consumer stand point, doesn’t it? But when thinking back to web interaction, app downloads or online purchases did a you as a consumer read the privacy policy to find out if your information was up for grabs?



Who really reads your product reviews?

In 2013, Laurent Azoulay from Montreal stayed at the Canada-based Hotel Quebec. A two-night stay at the hotel due to its proximity to a hockey tournament for his his eight-year-old son. According to Azoulay, he woke up at 3am in his room to discover bed bugs were biting his legs. In an attempt to make right with the situation, the hotel offered him a stay at another hotel near by since the hotel was completely booked. Azoulay, didn’t want to wake his sleeping son so they stayed. The next day the hotel moved him to a new room and gave him a 40% discount. When Azoulay returned home he wrote a negative review on Trip Advisor. This resulted in the hotel suing him for $95,000 because he wrote a negative review exposing the bed bugs and he refused to take it down.

In this case, the hotel is at least reading the review. This review was placed on a third party site were the hotel has no control over what stays and what goes. Plus there is a better chance a larger audience will see the review because of its location. I can understand the hotels side in which they don’t want a negative review but is it enough to sue someone for slander?

As a customer or as a business person where is the line drawn between slander and the truth? What side are you on and who do you think is in the right?


Which Search Engine works best for you?

The world of the internet is powered by the users ability to search for information. And as users we all have our go to search engines. But what is really the best search engine to use?

According to Reliable Soft and eBizMBA here are the top 5 search engines.

  1. Google (which shouldn’t be a suprise)- 69.5% of searches are powered by Google and 25% by Bing. Google is also dominating the mobile/tablet search engine market share with 89%
  2. Bing- Bing is Microsoft’s attempt to challenge Google in the area of search
  3. Yahoo- Since October 2011 Yahoo search is powered by Bing and is still the most popular email provide
  4. Ask.com- Ask.com receives approximately 3% of the search share. ASK is based on a question/answer format where most questions are answered by other users or are in the form of polls.
  5. AOL.com- the old time famous AOL is still in the top 10 search engines with a market share that is close to 0.6%

It may be a shock to the average consumer but there is more search engines out there beside these top 5. SE’s like Blekko.com which was developed by ex-Googlers and they present themselves as the “spam free search engine.” Or DuckDuckGo that has a number of advantages over the other search engines. It has a clean interface, it does not track users, it is not fully loaded with ads and has a number of very nice features like only one page of results, you can search directly other web sites etc. Even though Google is the power house it might be time to start discovering the experiences of the other search engines.


Pinterest and Advertising

One my guilty pleasures of social media is Pinterest. I would say most women own up to this guilty pleasure. The dream closest, recipes galore, beauty and travel tips, for content it doesn’t get any better than Pinterest. But as I continue to use Pinterest I notice more and more advertisements. According to Marketing Land Pinterest is letting brands target ads to people in their customer databases. For marketers this is a great way to continue to show valid content and build advocacy for the brand. Showing interesting and relevant content in the right channel is one of the biggest struggles marketers have. Then to even get the consumer to engage with the content is even more difficult.

Pinterest is a great avenue for marketers to share their brand. But, is it too much for the consumer?  How many times is too many times to see an add when all you want to do is scan the most popular Pins of the day? Marketers need to understand that there is a balance between target and valid content and too much advertising. How would you feel as a marketer and as a consumer on Pinterest?

Check out some cool articles here.

My Internet of Things

As the world gets smaller and the technology gets stronger, I have began to wonder if we as consumers will still have the opportunity to choose our own paths with technology. Let’s take my 58 year old father for example, it took for the majority of pay phones to be remove from places for him to get a cell phone. Now he has one but lets just say it slides and its not a touch screen. It took a trip to Hawaii for my Mom to just go out and buy him a tablet so he would stop using hers. He even asks me to check the scores for him when we are out to dinner. If he would just cave and get a smart phone. But those are his choices as a consumer. Will this effect how technology is produced? I can still see my fathers side of things in the sense that he doesn’t need a smart phone because he works on a computer all day if he needs to check something he can. The only people he talks to are is family. For his life there is no need for extravagant technology.

I myself, as a marketer and a technology friendly millennial, embrace the IoT and the potential it could bring. “The Internet of Things (IoT) vastly expands the reach of information technology. The myriad possibilities that arise from the ability to monitor and control things in the physical world electronically have inspired a surge of innovation and enthusiasm.” From wearables to advanced medical technology to free wifi, I see the IoT being a huge asset to our society and plan on embracing as much as possible within my means.

What kind of consumer are you going to be?Embrace for more or only use what you need?


McKinsey Global Institute. The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype.

Best Mobile Apps

As the world continues to shrink and mobile usage continues to grow. Marketers need to see that if they are not able to reach their audience through mobile or providing a satisfactory mobile experience in some way they are missing opportunities to be competitive. Consumers use all kinds of app on all kind of devices. For a brand thinking about developing their own app should do research on apps that are the best  of best and find out why they are the best. There are so many out there its hard to sift through all the information. Below is a breakdown for both iOS and Android of the best apps around.

10 Must have iPhone Apps

Downcast- podcast app

EasliyDo-productivity app

Evernote- note taking app

Gmail (Free)- email app

Google Maps (Free)- GPS

Lastpast- password manager

Mint  (Free)- Budget app

Monument Valley- game

Swift Key (Free)- custom key board

Weather Underground- hyperlocal weather app

Top 100 list by PC Magazine

10 Must Have Android Aps

Comics (Free)- app for digital comics

Evernote- note taking app

Feedly-news, article reading app

Google Drive (free)- cloud storing service

Inbox by gmail (free)- email app

Lastpast- password manager

PicsArt Photo Studio (free)- image editing

Pocket Casts- podcast app

Slacker Radio (Free)- streaming music service

Swiftkey (free)- custom key board

100 Best Android Apps

How are you identified in culture?

We all identify ourselves with something in our heritage or culture. Whether it be types of food or drink, clothing, or activities the average consumer relates to some part of their heritage. I personally identify myself with my northern European roots because of my blonde hair. How we identify ourselves is a big part of why we purchase certain products or interact with certain brands. Marketers need to have a full understanding of a culture if they choose to target them, minorities in particular. Minorities are groups whose members share unique behaviors based on a common racial, language and or nationality background. In 2014, the Hispanic Population rose to 17% and continues to rise. This giving marketers an opportunity to relate to this culture and become a part of it before a minority like Hispanics are no longer considered a minority.

The infographic below shows stats about millennial Hispanics and how they could be targeted differently than others in their culture. For example 40% of them are bilingual but English is their primary language. So they might not need to be communicated with in Spanish but would appreciated Hispanic undertones in the message. A marketer having a key understanding of culture and society is important when communicating.



What Emerging Media Means for a 25 year old female millennial

When looking at emerging media from a marketing stand point it brings up feelings of innovation, technology and creative thinking. It also brings in the pressure of being able to help a brand compete with its competitors. As a consumer or for me as a 25 year old female millennial, I view emerging media as a new way to get the information I want and a new way to be connected to the world. One way consumers like myself are engaging with media is through vlogs or video blogs. Vlogs are blogs that produce regular video content often around the same theme. In 2016, this might not be emerging media but it isn’t old media as video is still dominating the industry as one of the best ways to engage an audience.

Below are some of my favorite beauty vlogs that have millions of follows and would be great place to reach a very targeted audience.



Integrated Marketing Communications WVU

As Emerging Media increases in the world of Marketing it is important to study and find out how it is affecting other pieces of the industry. Below is the official site for the West Virginia University IMC program and related blogs.

Official Site for WVU IMC Program