Consider your daily life: Ads for what you like. Free nights from favorite hotels. Offers that help you get what you need. Customized digital coupons. Website services that match your lifestyle.
All of these experiences are so commonplace that we hardly think about how they arrive and serve us. They are all driven by marketing data –like information you choose to provide personally (through online forms) or which can be inferred (the sites you visit, items you buy through a loyalty program, and things you talk about on social networks).
Given our data-driven lifestyles, it’s important to understand the purpose behind marketing data and to know what marketing data looks like. All businesses use marketing data for a variety of legitimate purposes. Marketers will use your data for marketing purposes – but never for financial or health eligibility. They will use marketing data to create predictions based on aggregated trends, confirm correct usage of your address or phone numbers when sending promotional material, and/or suggest what products you might like based on your past purchases and website visits. And since ads pay for the free Internet services we love to use, relevant advertising means you are going to get ads for things you like.
The truth is, you hold more power than you think over the information you provide to marketers and how marketers can use it. There are four primary ways to get involved:
1. Choose Your Experiences
Marketers only want to show you offers that appeal to you. Give them feedback to ensure that you are fully connected with the brands you love.
2. Get Informed.
Know what marketing information is held on you and customize it so that you are getting more of what you want. Visit:
3. Be Responsible.
4. Help DMA help you.
Marketers must be held to high standards—if you think you have experienced or witnessed bad marketing practices in action, report them to DMA and we will follow up. Visit DMAChoice.org to opt out and/or file a complaint. You can always also contact the FTC or the Better Business Bureau. Most companies want to hear from customers, so contact their customer service desk with specific feedback.
Marketing data is powerful. It helps connect you with deals, products, services and brands you like. Be knowledgeable, safe and purposeful as you discover the benefits of marketing services in your data-driven life.