Why brands should establish ethical principles for data collection

The internet of things is constantly collecting intimate data.

The internet of things is constantly collecting intimate data.

Data collected should provide value to all concerned parties

The Altimeter Group published “The Trust Imperative: A Framework for Ethical Data Use.” The report gathered information from several different sources to provide a well-rounded view of how consumers view data collection and how organizations are starting to rethink data collection practices.

Data collection is becoming more ubiquitous, thanks to the “internet of things” – thermostats, refrigerators, wearables, and of course smart phones, to name a few. Therefore, protecting consumer data, from encryption, to storage, to online marketing, is becoming a brand attribute.

Rethinking the digital cost-benefit analysis

The online marketing axiom, rooted in cost-benefit analysis, is that consumers will trade their personal data for perceived discounts. The internet provides consumers with free services – search engine, photo archive, social media networks, etc. – if the consumer shares personal, friend list or email information.

This appears to be a good deal on the surface. However, upon closer inspection, many organizations use data collection as a profit center, selling data to programmatic media firms, credit reporting operations, database marketing firms, and large retailers. In fact, there is so much consumer data for sale (over 1500 data points for each of the 500 million active internet users, most of them in the United States) that a precise mosaic of the consumer’s lifestyle, actions, interest, food preferences, and ailments can be purchased for marketing purposes.

If this comes as a shock, it shouldn’t be

Most Americans are resigned to the fact that there is nothing they can do to thwart the onslaught of data collection by marketers. This comes from a lack of understanding about digital marketing and a preconceived notion that the Federal Government is looking out for their best interests when it comes to their personal privacy rights.

Why brands should be worried

The internet of things is constantly collecting intimate data. This is changing the nature of data collection from something that requires action to something that just happens. Consequently, consumers are becoming more uncomfortable with how brands will use their data.

As the tension level rises around data collection, trust becomes a serious issue for brands. An Altimeter® survey of over 2000 consumers revealed that over 45% of those surveyed had little or no trust in how organizations use their data.

This lack of trust has a quantifiable effect on business performance. The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer survey of 33,000 general population respondents found that 63% of people that lack trust in an organization will refuse to buy products and services from it. 58% criticized the organization to friends or colleagues, and 37% shared negative opinions online.

The impact of distrust clearly affects revenue, reputation, and stock price.

How brands can benefit from ethical principles in data collection

Brands should establish principles for ethical data collection, beginning with the expectation that any data collected should deliver value to all concerned parties. This is a litmus test for any “go or no go” marketing initiatives.

A second principle that organizations should consider is data minimization, meaning what is the least amount of data needed to meet the marketing objective? By practicing minimization, brands promote more sustainable and less risky analysis.

To download the report “The Trust Imperative: A Framework for Ethical Data Use” click here.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

Digital Ad Targeting – What Do Marketers Know About You?

Ad Technology: Programmatic Advertising

The challenges of “Big Data”

Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

Copyright: joebelanger / 123RF Stock Photo

Creating better content

bBrands must know themselves before they can create content that is meaningful.

Brands must know themselves before they can create content that is meaningful.

Brands must know themselves before they start to publish content.

Rebecca Lieb, Jessica Groopman, and Susan Etlinger of the Altimeter Group published “A Culture of Content,” A Best Practices Report. The report covers in detail how leading brands are creating a corporate ecosystem that encourages content development at every level of the organization. While many of their best practice recommendations were not new, one insight that stood out was that brands must know themselves before they can create content that is meaningful and helps to achieve business goals.

When brands decide to jump on the content bandwagon, they suddenly realize that an online presence can quickly overwhelm the resources dedicated to producing content. That’s why we see so much “me too” content from competing brands.

Brands that effectively deliver meaningful content share these three attributes:

  • They are the best at what they do, whether offering a product or service.
  • Everyone in the organization can articulate what makes their brand different from their competitors.
  • They listen to their customers and make the necessary changes, cultural or procedural, to enhance the brand experience.

In today’s always-on media environment, brands can feel pressured to produce content that doesn’t meet strategic criteria for being published. Leading brands have solved this problem by asking these simple questions:

  • Does this content warrant the resources necessary to produce it?
  • Will this content produce a rate of return equal to or greater than a paid media insertion?
  • Does the content solve a customer’s problem or concern?
  • Will the content support the mosaic of the overall brand story?
  • What is the shelf life of the content?

In the not-too-distant past, great brands — B-to-B and B-to-C — knew their DNA. They knew their history, where their value systems came from, and valued the inherent creativity of their employees. This was evident in their marketing and confirmed by their market share.

Today, these same traits are needed to produce content because now in the omni-channel media environment, content is becoming the face brand across every customer experience.

To download a copy of the Altimeter report, “A Culture of Content” click here.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

What’s your brand’s point-of-view?

Connecting decision makers with your brand

Finding your voice

Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

Aviation Marketing: The difference between strategy and tactics


Strategy and tactics must work together to achieve business goals

Jeriah Owyang, Industry analyst with the Altimeter Group, posted an article defining strategy and tactics by their associated actions. Below is my interpretation for aviation marketers:

Aviation manufacturers need strategic thinking and tactical execution to move the business forward. If you have strategy without tactics, then the big idea is never implemented. If you implement tactics without a strategy, you end up herding cats.

Breaking down strategy vs. tactics:


  • Strategy – To identify clear goals that advance the overall business and organize resources.
  • Tactics – To utilize specific resources to achieve sub-goals that support the defined mission.


  • Strategy – Individuals who influence resources in the organization. They understand how a set of tactics works together to achieve goals.
  • Tactics – Specific experts that maneuver limited resources into actions to achieve a set of goals.


  • Strategy – Held accountable for overall health of the organization.
  • Tactics – Held accountable for specific resources assigned.


  • Strategy – All the resources within the organizations, as well as broader market conditions including competitors, customers, and economy.
  • Tactics – A subset of resources used in a plan or process. Tactics are often specific using limited resources to achieve broader goals.


  • Strategy – Long term, changes infrequently.
  • Tactics – Shorter term, flexible to specific market conditions.


  • Strategy – Uses experience, research, analysis, thinking, then communication.
  • Tactics – Uses experiences, best practices, plans, processes, and teams.


  • Strategy – Produces clear organizational goals, plans, and key performance measurements.
  • Tactics – Produces clear deliverables and outputs using people, tools, and time.

Below are two examples of how strategic goals can be communicated with clear tactical elements:

  • Strategy: Be the market share leader in terms of sales in the OEM-market segment of the avionics industry.
  • Tactics: Offer advanced technology components that simplify cockpit management with life of the platform warranty.
  • Strategy: Maneuver your brand into top two consideration set of aircraft entertainment systems with MRO decision makers.
  • Tactics: Implement a social marketing campaign that leverages existing customer relationships and encourages them to conduct word-of-mouth with their peers using social platforms.

3 ways to use strategy and tactics to achieve business goals

  1. Educate your colleagues on the differences between terms and how they vary.
  2. Ensure that all tactics align with business strategy, and all strategies are supported by tactical execution.
  3. Reinforce through communication how strategy and tactics work together, advancing and achieving business goals through better utilization of time and resources.

Click here to follow Jeremiah Owyang on Twitter

Image by stock.xchng user

Aviation Marketing: Social media strategy and measurement metrics

Like a good pilot, aviation marketers should chart a course for identifying social media direction, measurement metrics, and business results.

The Altimeter Group published an open research study entitled “A Framework for Social Analytics”. They propose a social media measurement compass as a way to keep social media activities on course and measure social media’s impact on achieving business goals.

My interpretation for aviation marketers is that they should take a granular look at their business operations for areas of opportunity beyond marketing where social media can enhance business process and revenue generation.

6 points of the social media measurement compass:

1. Brand Health

A measurement of how people feel, talk, and act towards your brand.

Measurement Metric:

  • Sources of positive, negative or neutral sentiment
  • Number of brand followers
  • Number of re-tweets

2. Marketing Optimization

Social data used to learn how programs perform, and drive decision for making new content and campaigns.

Measurement Metric:

  • Revenues
  • Conversions
  • Leads per dollars spent compared to outbound marketing

3. Revenue Generation

Understand the role of social media in the considered purchase process and then fine tune it to support ways influencers and purchasers use social platforms in context with your brand.

Measurement Metric:

  • Leads by channel
  • Conversions by channel
  • Stated intent to purchase

4. Operational Efficiency

Understand how social media delivers hard and soft cost containment over time.

Measurement Metric:

  • Percentage of inquiries in social channels that were resolved with out 1-to-1 chat or call center call

5. Customer Experience

Social media’s impact on the customer’s attitude. How people talk about your brand or product when you’re not there.

Measurement Metric:

  • Common key words
  • Common topics in social platforms and networks versus CRM/Call center

6. Innovation

Monitoring the social web for feedback and ideas that identify opportunities and reduce risk.

Measurement Metric:

  • Terms such as “idea,” “I wish,” “I love,” “I hate” in relation to brand and competitors

The above metrics represent a small fraction of what can be learned and measured. With that said, aviation marketers will have to build their own set of metrics based on data that is important to executive level decision makers in their business. One thing to remember is that if the metric does not correspond to a result, it probably is not worth measuring.

Click the link to view the complete presentation “A Frame work for Social Analytics”

Aviation Marketing: Dynamic customers require quality content

Aviation marketers should pay attention to consistency of story to keep dynamic customer engaged in phased purchase cycle.

Connecting with dynamic customers is challenging, requiring aviation component and system manufacturers to engage their customers with a positive brand experience, and consistent story line through-out the phased purchase cycle of awareness, consideration and intent.

Jeremiah Owyang, industry analyst and partner at the Altimeter Group presented at the Digital Blue conference. The presentation was to help companies better understand changing industry dynamics, identify innovative companies and to learn from best-of-bred in other markets.


Relationships with aviation brands are changing. Users want to talk about your brand, so give them a reason to.

How do users interact with brands via Facebook and Twitter?

  • 29% of Twitter users follow a brand
  • 39% have tweeted about a brand
  • 29% have re-tweeted about a brand
  • 58% of Facebook users have “Liked” a brand
  • 42% have mentioned a brand in a status update
  • 41% have shared a link, video or story about a brand

Research conducted by AYTM.com

The customer journey is dynamic.

Mediums and channels are constantly changing. Look at the rise of Google+ and Pinterest. To avoid following behind, aviation marketers must focus on quality content and relationships to survive. Savvy marketers see the opportunities and are developing innovative social media tools to respond to changes in customer behavior.

Adapting to a dynamic customer environment means aviation marketers need to integrate owned, earned and paid media.

Customers expect a complete brand experience through the phased purchase consideration.


  • Tell a story, don’t shout – Create content that engages by focusing on the life style or work style of your prospects. 
  • Social context targetingMobile, location, and social data collide, creating new mediums and channels.


  • Dynamic customers compare alternatives, especially for high value considered purchase items. Leverage brand advocates but don’t wear out your welcome.
  • Commodity products – Find your point of differentiation through innovation or service.


  • Online reviews – automate to distribute on multiple platforms, increasing the reach of the crowd.
  • Balance content and privacy – Understand the “social media” contract you have with your customers and explain how you will secure and use their data.

Key points on creating dynamic customer environment:

  • With more data available we can accelerate customers through the funnel faster than ever before.
  • Today‘s customer is dynamic. Develop a story that spans all phases of the funnel, and across all mediums.
  • Conduct ongoing research, as the customer moves quickly.
  • Use the Customer Funnel and fill in all the gaps across paid, owned, and earned media.

Click the link to view Jeremiah’s complete Slide Share presentation: “Strategy: Lead the Dynamic Customer Journey”

photo credit: portland general via photo pin cc

Content development for aviation marketing is a communal affair

Content development for aviation marketing is a company-wide affair, led by the marketing department but requiring consensus and support from the C-Suite and the engineering department.

The Altimeter Group recently published a research study entitled “Content: The New Marketing Equation.” The research methodology is based on qualitative interviews from marketers in 38 companies. Many of the brands are leading B2B and B2C companies, including:

  •  Adobe Systems
  • American Express
  • AT&T
  • Coca-Cola
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Electric
  • IBM
  • Intel Corporation

The study findings indicated that marketers are unbalanced as they shift from outbound (push) to inbound (pull) marketing. Respondents indicated that they were struggling with the constant demand for content generation. This is a natural evolution considering that outbound marketing is more campaign-oriented than inbound marketing which requires copious amounts of content to continually attract and engage customers.

Their findings go on to indicate that organizations need to rebalance and evolve from advertisers to storytellers. Rebalancing requires realigning resources, budget allocations, department staffing, company culture, and agency and service providers to be more effective and prepared to meet changing consumer expectations.

Generating effective and sustainable content marketing requires more than hiring a writer. Successful content marketing must be integrated with strategic marketing strategies including advertising, and it must become a foundation of the company culture.

Here are 4 steps obstacles that aviation marketers must overcome: 

  1. Understanding that content marketing is not free. Content marketing can reduce the media spend, but for content marketing to be effective, it requires investments in staff, production, and distribution resources.
  2. Implementing cultural integration around content marketing. Rebalancing requires departmental integration and cultural shifts as well as education, training and new skill sets for staff beyond the marketing department.
  3. Integrating content marketing with advertising. Placing all your eggs in one basket has its consequences. For optimal impact, content and advertising should be integrated – together the two can tell a richer brand story.
  4. Avoiding bright shiny objects. Don’t let new technologies get in the way of strategy and marketing fundamentals.

What does the future hold for inbound content aviation marketing?

Altimeter Group concluded that over the next five years, content marketing will become part of the corporate culture led by the marketing department. Finding, producing, and disseminating both internal and external content to the organization will become a core marketing function. However, it will be led by cross-pollination from the C-suite, sales and product teams.

The following is a complete slide share of the Altimeter Group study, including Altimeter’s Content Marketing Maturity model: