The Ethics of Collecting User Data

Upon hearing the word “cookie” most people think of the delicious treats their mother used to make when they were a kid. Digital cookies are far from their real-world counterpart, and are used to track data about an internet user’s habits and preferences. For this reason, as any digital marketer can tell you, digital cookies are the subject of a complex debate regarding internet security and privacy.

So what is the debate?

Some internet users feel that it is unethical for websites to examine cookie data to learn more about anyone who visits their site. The companies typically use this information to collect metrics about their audience and then use this information to optimize the site to fit the people visiting their site. For example, if a company learns that most of their traffic is from mobile devices, they know that they should focus on making their site mobile-friendly to improve the user experience

The Verdict…

I believe that collecting user data and reading visitor cookie data is ethical as long as the site alerts the user that they collect cookie information. This way, it gives the user the ability to opt out if they feel they don’t want the site to have access to their information. If the company does not make it clear what type of data they are collecting or even tell the user they are collecting data I believe that they are not ethically trying to collect information.


What makes a Defensive Corporate response into a Proactive one?

For brands, social media is both a blessing and a curse, it gives the company a way to directly see what it’s audience thinks of its products and interact with them. On the other hand, it also gives an opportunity for people dissatisfied with the product or service to create and promote negative content that harms the brand. What is the right way for a brand to respond to negative post about them?

Respond Quickly, and Professionally

A company should try to respond to negative reviews as soon as possible, because the longer that that post is out there the more people will see it and think that the brand doesn’t care enough to respond to complaints. When drafting a response, it is important to not belittle the reviewer or their experience, and discuss what the company will do to help resolve the issue.

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In this example, Honda of Thousand Oaks does a great job of responding to a complaint about their service center. The first thing that Honda did right here was to apologize and make it clear that they were determined to resolve the issue. Another smart move they made was to take the conversation offline, which prevents the negative content from ranking higher on the SERP and less people seeing it.


The Brilliance of the Spotify Wrapped Campaign

Spotify’s Wrapped campaign is a perfect example of an effective social media campaign, that is easily shareable across multiple platforms. What makes this campaign especially effective is that it uses personalized data based totally on what Spotify is able to collect every time the listener chooses a song. As a result of the highly personalized nature of the Wrapped campaign, users will do most of the work sharing their results and exposing the campaign to more people on that social media platform.

What is the goal of this campaign?

I think that the business goal of this campaign is to increase awareness of Spotify as a brand, which is best represented by the fact that it is a yearly campaign. In addition to not having to do a lot of promotion for this campaign, Spotify is now able to use this campaign annually. Spotify rolls out this campaign at the end of every year during the holiday season, which is when they have their highest increase in subscriptions. In 2019, Spotify saw an 5% increase in subscriptions in Europe during quarter 4. The highly personalized nature of this campaign and its highly sharable nature, combined with its annual premise make this an effective social media marketing campaign to build awareness of Spotify as a brand.


Why Bother with Email Marketing?

Ever since its rise to popularity in the 1990’s, email has become one of the easiest ways for people communicate online, but recently the rise of technology has lead some marketers to believe that email is an antiquated and ineffective form of digital marketing. Contrary to this idea, I feel that developments in SEO, PPC and Display Ads have made email marketing more effective than ever.

How can a system created so long ago still be a valuable marketing tool today?

Email can still be a reliable way to generate leads and interest if a business is able to build a large email list of consumers who have demonstrated their interest into a product or service they provide. Using these lists, marketers are able to create different segments of their audience so they can send the right promotional information to the parties most likely to be interested by that information. Creating different ad audiences is a cost-effective way to get the most relevant information to the right consumers, which increases the likelihood of conversion and engagement.

Relevant content is what keeps emails from going straight to the spam folder

Why Do Emails Matter?

Despite some marketers having lost faith that email marketing does actually produce results, it is still a worthwhile marketing strategy that keeps the company in the mind of consumers. Building a large email list is the integral first step to success for any email marketing campaign, and gathers information from people who are explicitly interested in the business.


What made me click through?

Since Instagram knows that I am a musician, I get flooded with tons of sponsored ads from bands that are trying to promote their newly released music. As a result, I generally just listen to the music for a second and if I don’t like it (which is 75% of the time) I just scroll past. For me, what will cause me to actually click on the ad is if I find the music to be unique, with a creative look that pairs well with the group’s sound.

I believe that the best way to get someone to click on your ad is to have a unique, consistent aesthetic that pairs well with music the ad plays. Having a clear theme in mind for the product will make it seem of higher quality and actually worth checking out.


Is it possible to spend your way to the top?

When is comes to paid ads, most people figure that they can just pay whatever they need to pay and then their website will appear right above their competition on the Google results page. After paying for the ad, many webmasters think their work is done, and they’ll have a high amount of traffic to their site for the rest of their days, which is simply not true. So the question remains, do you need to have better content than your competitors, or just a bigger wallet?

The answer to this question is no, success is never guaranteed, but having a big budget certainly helps give your site an edge. Creating high quality content and gaining credible backlinks are more integral to gaining a consistent traffic flow to your site. Paid ads are a great way to get someone to visit your site, but quality content is what gets them to stay, and maybe even come back later. When a site is constantly updated with quality content, it is likely to get backlinks from people that claim it is a credible source, which help to build the site’s audience. One excellent point that John Gagnon mentions has to do with the number of clicks severely diminishes below the top 3 results, and paid ads are always the ones that appear above the fold in those positions. Overall, paid ads are a great way to help generate traffic and gain a better position on the SERP, but it is more important to create quality content that keeps people on your site.


How Johnson’s Baby is standing against Child Poverty

Join us in our fight against child poverty

By: Nicholas Lenhard

For the past 125 years at Johnson’s Baby, we have worked tirelessly to produce products that are the very best, because we believe that is what everyone’s child deserves. We also believe that no children should be subjected to living in poverty, and have decided to follow our mission statement and donate some of our hygiene products to children in desperate need of them.

Why Does it matter?

Despite being one of the world’s most developed countries, the United States has a significant percent of its children being affected by poverty. More children than ever are being forced into poverty by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson’s Baby decided we needed to take a stand against child poverty.

We ask for anyone interested in supporting our campaign, or with any questions or feedback to fill out our survey on our sign up now page. You can also visit our website to find out more about the importance of child hygiene, children’s personal hygiene and even personal hygiene tips!


Is it Possible to rank Highest on a Google Results Page?

I believe that by following George Do’s advice on expanding seed keywords it is more than possible to appear as the number one result on a Google results page. The hard part is not only getting to number one, but is actually staying there. One of the tips that Do gives in the video is to type keywords into Google, and take note of what it autocompletes after the keywords you typed. Many people looking for information will most likely just follow Google’s lead and hit enter, rather than spending more time typing more specific keywords. By taking note of what appears in Google’s autocomplete, it is clear what terms have a lot of traffic that the site should try to optimize for.

To maintain a number one position, a website needs to be constantly updating its pages and creating new ones that fit new keywords related to the site. Another important idea that George Do mentions is researching online forums about your website. Online forums are a great resource to see what the public actually thinks of your site, what keywords are likely to get the most traffic and how you can improve the site. Though it is very difficult I believe it is possible to rank number one on Google, but the hard part is actually staying at number one before another larger webpage appears to move your page down the list.


Form vs. Function

When creating an effective website, there is a lot to think about when it comes to maximizing the number of conversions from visitors. One of the largest decisions a web designer must make is to focus more on the way that the site looks, or to instead make the website easily navigable and understandable. Creating a website with a really interesting and uncommon design can help show the user the unique perspective and value that the business is able to bring to the table. The problem with going too far away from a traditional website layout is that it becomes a lot more confusing and can alienate some potential customers, and lower the conversion rate as a result. On the other hand, having a website that is too formulaic or bare-bones can make the visitor think that the company is common and doesn’t have much to offer over its competition.

So what is truly more important, form or function? I believe that, as with most things, the answer lies somewhere in between these two extremes. An effective website will have its own unique style, but its information is still readily available and easily accessible. To maximize conversions a website should follow some website conventions so the user has some familiarity, even if it is their first time visiting the site. The company should then try to look at the brand it has created, and use that as a framework to make their website easily recognizable as uniquely their own.