Is Privacy for sale?

Privacy. What does it mean to you?

At its basic level, privacy is “the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby express themselves selectively”. Universal and understood across different cultures and boundaries, you would think that people’s privacy would be respected and upheld by those who hold information provided to them.

However, there has been recent scandals around privacy and personal information. Facebook were in the news recently about their “experiments” and how they manipulated news feeds to what expressions of emotions users saw. Other stories around personal privacy include the phone hacking scandal involving journalists and editors at the News of the World newspaper and lest we forget the Snowden revelations of NSA activities last year, which still has an impact to this very day. There are many more stories related to privacy concerns and how it’s handled, which could go on for a very long time, but where does privacy leave us?

Sure, you’re only as useful as the information that you choose to disclose on the internet, but what happens when those details are used in ways that make you feel uncomfortable? What about governments selling your tax data, for instance? In this day and age of big data within marketing, data is an ever-increasing asset – from CRM to manage and maintain customer relationships, to social data to provide insight and understanding of your customer’s motivations and preferences on a personal level. Data is all around us, and it isn’t going away soon…unless…

Forget about me, I don’t exist

Google have recently launched a service that enables EU residents to request that their details are removed from their search results. Now Google is the largest search engine compared to its rivals Yahoo! and Bing, meaning that there’s a likelihood you’re not going to appear in searches made by others. What is interesting is, will there come a point where more and more companies that handle data see this as an opportunity to cash in on an individual’s privacy? After all, we’re only as good as the information we give to these companies, so there has to be a trade-off, so in essence an individual’s demand for privacy depends on how much of themselves they supply online or elsewhere. If there is a market for privacy, who would be the main customers? The wealthy? The powerful? Regular people? How would companies charge? On a subscription basis? A one-off payment? Privacy credits? Will privacy cease to exist in the next two decades?

So many questions, but no one answer is black and white.

What are your thoughts?

5 reasons why content marketing has reached saturation point #check

” I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it”
Cameron Frye, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off (1986)

Here are a few rules on how to write interesting content:

1. Catchy listicle title (check)
2. Controversial point of view (check)
3. Offer sage advice on content marketing and how it can benefit your business, project, blog, life choices… (check)
4. Call to action at the end of this article to read more about my views on things marketing related and what makes me stand out from other blogs (check)
5. Write a list. (check)

According to this grandiose list of things to make me stand out as a content marketer (I’ve done a lot of reading and following accounts that constantly remind me of the need to write ‘killer’ content – don’t shoot me, aim your gun praise at the messenger who share such articles across numerous platforms), I’ve followed the ‘rules’ of content marketing.

Except I haven’t.

Content marketing has gotten to a level where I simply can’t keep up anymore. Whether it be a snazzy list from Buzzfeed on the numerous shades of tea (mine’s a builders, splash of milk, no sugar – I’m sweet enough thanks ☺) to Upworthy sharing a video on the plight of female vegan rats and the persecution they face from evil extermimators (so sad). This constant fight for my eyeballs and my attention can be overwhelming in this day and age. If it isn’t a picture of cute cats, then it’s another listicle of the things I can be doing to improve my life or educate myself more on something I’m likely to forget in a few days. Spare me the thought on big data and how wonderful it is (yes, Big data does have its merits, but only if you can extract numbers that are useful and relevant to whatever it is you do).

Is there a need to write content for contents sake? Will the world stop if I struggle to engage you with my written thoughts and musings? Probably not, however there will always be bloggers, writers, journalists, tweeters, et al. vying for my (and everyone else’s) attention. I do enjoy reading new articles, watching videos and learning a bit every day. I just enjoy learning at my own pace. The effect this content overload has on my concentration is probably the reason why tabbed browsing is so essential to me (heck, I even have ‘Have I Got News For You?’ on in the background whilst writing this blog entry on my smartphone as I glance at my laptop).

Anyhow, I digress. I don’t want another article telling me how to improve my content strategy or write killer content. It’s become so saturated that almost every other article reads the same. Even the lists are the same. No idea’s original, nothing new under the sun, and I’m feeling the burn.

I admire a writer’s honest, real and authentic point of view, I really do. I just want my attention span back so I can take it in, one article, one tab, one video, one picture at a time. So the next time you’re faced with a sea of words and images floating around the Internet, take a deep breath, swim through it, and pick what is relevant to you.

Thank you.

Features vs Benefits: Smartwatches

Features: what your product does
Benefits: what these features mean to your audience

In case you missed it (like myself because of the World Cup), Google held their annual I/O event two weeks ago, announcing all things Google-related from Android to Chrome. One part of the event that stood out for me was Android Wear, Google’s custom platform for smartwatch development, with the release of their Software Development Kit (SDK), enabling developers to integrate their own devices with the platform.

When I was younger, the idea of having a watch that done everything on command was exciting. Imagine feeling like Michael Knight being able to call your car to come to you, instead of having to go all that effort to walk to your car and put all your shopping in the boot? Pretty cool right?

Nowadays, I’m not sure about smartwatches. For me, the basic feature of a watch is to tell the time. The benefit of being able to tell the time on my wrist enables me to keep track of time, make estimates of journey time so I don’t miss Game of Thrones when I get home, find out how much time I have before an appointment or a meeting. So in a nutshell, a watch enables me to plan my activities and schedule within the continuum of time. Having a smartphone is enough hassle, it’s pretty much carrying a micro computer in your pocket. Why would I need a watch to alert or notify me about events happening on my phone, which is inches away? Do I need to be connected all the time? Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, is dismissive of smartwatches, describing his experience of the Samsung Galaxy Gear as “disappointing”.

In general, I can’t see how a smartwatch can add much purpose or benefit to my day to day life. The thought of remembering to charge a watch would annoy me, especially when I have a Casio sitting on the shelf that can tell me the time and date, operate as a stopwatch, light up in the dark and is water resistant to a reasonable depth.

All is not lost on wearable tech though. Where the real benefit and value lies relates to health and fitness. The ability to track activity and take vitals, such as pulse rate serves some purpose in a smartwatch. Right now, a smartwatch seems nothing more than an extension of a smartphone which is not really necessary, nor beneficial.

1 Wrong That I Want To Write About….

I’ve decided that I need to write more and make it a habit. My limited blog posts are something which I need to address over the coming year, so to help me get into the habit, I am dedicating 20 minutes per day this January to writing. Whether I have something to say, or nothing at all or if I get bored, I will be writing.

This is definitely one wrong that I want to write about.

Happy New Year all!

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Life Tips from 18 of the World’s Weathiest

A great read from 18 for the world’s wealthiest. What are your thoughts?

via eBay Deals

Nudies

Naked Loyalty: My Nudie Jeans Brand Experience

The path to loyalty between a customer and brand is one that can either be a short walk up the road until you see the bus to reach another destination, or one which you continue walking together, getting stronger along the way and understanding more about each other and what they stand for.

My first experience with Nudie Jeans was in December 2007, when I purchased a pair of their jeans. The fit, styling and look were so good. So much so that I wore them until they wore out. I never forgot how good the jeans were, and held that experience ever since then.

Fast forward to December 2011 (4 years later, in which a World Cup and European Championship happened between that time and Spain finally came of age), and I needed to buy some jeans. In that period I went through numerous brands of jeans, from 55DSL to ASOS, which were alright but never quite met the standard set by Nudie. So I decided to purchase another pair of Nudies which have served me well up to this point.

Now what happened next was pretty much the same thing that condemned my first pair of Nudies to denim heaven – the wear and tear factor started. It was only by a chance trip to Oxford Circus that I came across a Nudie store, but this was not just another retail outlet. It was only when I looked through the doorway that I saw a lady sat down at a sewing machine working away, keeping her eye focused like a surgeon doing delicate work on their patient. I walked into the operating theatre  shop and conversed,

Me: ‘Do you do repairs to jeans here?’

Surgeon Lady: ‘Yes we do, but for Nudie jeans only’

Me: ‘Really? How much do you charge for repairs?’

Lady: ‘They’re free of charge’

Me (stroking chin and nodding head appreciatively): ‘Really?’

Lady: ‘Yes. Just pop in with your jeans and we can repair them for you.’

Upon this discovery, I realised that I can not only restore my jeans back to their former glory, but also feel confident in the knowledge that purchasing a future pair of jeans from here is ‘guaranteed’ from damage caused by wear and tear. It felt like the warranty that you get when purchasing expensive electronics or a brand new car, but for denim? This is a whole new concept. So today, I brought in my damaged denim, left my contact details with the shop assistant and now await my newly restored jeans.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘Is this some sort of advertorial or some sort of sales pitch?’

No.

This is me expressing how a little thoughtfulness and understanding from a brand and the way that they deliver their after sales service can go a long way in developing loyalty and create stories from the whole experience. From Nudie creating quality denim to offering a repairs and adjustment service to add value to my purchase, they have gained a lifelong customer who will spread the word about the Nudie experience without being paid to do so.

Nudie Repair

My repair note.

If you own a pair of Nudie jeans that need repairing, or want to purchase a pair, pop down to their repair store.

This is a journey where the walk doesn’t seem so tiring because of the understanding we have built up along the way.

UPDATE: 3rd July

I got my jeans back and they are repaired. Thanks Nudie. :-)

image

Share your thoughts with me at @ChuxOnye on Twitter.

Marketing Chux – Stories to ponder this week: 20th to 24th May 2013

Here are a selection of stories that made the headlines this week that got me thinking about the marketing perspective.

Monday

Yahoo acquires Tumblr for $1.1bn

Tuesday

Apple’s Tax issues

Microsoft finally reveals the XBox One console system

Wednesday

Twitter announce 2-step verification

Thursday

Adidas reviews Garcia deal after Tiger Wood’s controversy

Friday

Google considering purchase of crowd-sourced mapping tool Waze

Facebook’s Phone issues