Keep Your Conversations Meaningful … Or Else!

Just as the “Do Not Call” list was mandated because of the surge in unsolicited telemarketing calls and a microscope was placed on permission-based email marketing, a “Do Not Track” list could become a reality for online behavioral tracking.

A warning shot was recently fired by Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz. He told the Senate Commerce Committee “we are gravitating to an opt-out of behavioral targeting [for multiple sites] through a single entity.” With the focus by the current administration on transparency and consumer privacy, this kind of dialogue may have more teeth to it than marketers would like to admit.

But is making sure conversations with customers and clients are impactful and benefit-driven regardless of the method really a bad thing? Certainly not! As marketers, a major objective is to keep our products and services top-of-mind. If advertisers are told they must respect the hows, whys and whens of consumer and business-to-business marketing, then all’s the better, in my opinion. This will only ensure a more engaged audience who will reward those who provide them with valuable communications.

I remember the concerns swirling around the telemarketing industry before the Do Not Call list was implemented in 2003. Many thought the call-center business and telemarketing would be completely up-ended as a result. Things did change, but in a good way. Marketers were forced to run smarter call programs and consumers were the beneficiaries.  If a similar regulatory program is indeed adopted for behavioral tracking, let’s focus on the positives and hope the results are the same.

Yes, there will be growing pains for marketers and advertisers alike, but this issue is about empowerment over your personal privacy — something we should all support.

What’s your opinion?

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