Using Your Privacy

Why not make your data work for you?

Dilosen Naicker
Sep 18 · 3 min read

I was a first adopter to new technologies, hardware and software — hordes of applications and beta testing new entrants, supplying my information to random databases, somewhere in the world. More recently, I have become more protective of my privacy and information.

The irony is, I willingly gave my data to these services to sign up and document my existence in various different ways, as a means to use the application or service.

What I have discovered is that companies thrive on consumer data. They need it to re-market and sell products and services to the end-user. Digital marketing has given us tons of data, which has been supplied by the consumer themselves through their online and possibly offline activities. It could be the things they like, follow and bookmark or their browsing history and purchases.

Data sales is a big commodity. It’s trade and industry. It’s the currency to with which marketing thrives. Businesses in the game of data capturing (almost every single business has a database) re-purpose this data into selling points like advertising on their platform. Google is just a website. Nothing more, nothing less. They just have enough data to sell it to other businesses.

“Advertise on our platform and reach customers from all over the world- and you can be specific.” That’s an attractive selling point.

From a consumer(user) perspective, why don’t we control the data we provide? Well, we’ve been disillusioned in providing life data to businesses for free — in return for social recognition and awareness.

It’s a simple process. Provide data to your friends and family, the platform captures, repackages and sells access to you based on the data.

The question then becomes; why not provide legitimate businesses your data, when you need a product? I have been testing this through various platforms, namely Google, Facebook and Twitter Ad Network.

I have been doing a lot of e-commerce, travel research and product buying and I have noticed how advertising CAN be beneficial if curated — just with any other information stream available.

Re-marketing is a tool that captures user data through a certain funnels and re-markets information back to that user somewhere else on the Internet.

An example would be when you add a product to a basket, but then don’t checkout the basket. The product would appear elsewhere, as an advert, at the same price or possibly at a discounted price too.

This, for me, has been helpful as various companies are bidding for my sale. Certain things pertain to me, such as price, quality and availability. But that may be different for each individual.

An example may be a flight from Durban to Dubai — this data is captured, re-marketed to me through Google services amongst several different airline brands, some of which I would have never thought supplied the route — at a discounted price compared to other industry competitors.

Another example is local e-commmerce retailer Superbalist — creating the re-marketing through discounts, SMS’s and user experience. I ordered on Friday and it arrived on Monday morning at Nine.

This is great for me.

Another variant example is Guitar accessories. My search query on e-commerce giant Takealot.com was “Capo” — a simple, one word tag. I browsed the list, added a capo that fitted my requirements, then later removed it from the basket and then checked out the very same basket without buying the capo.

All in all, a basket sale was made — so why waste money on re-marketing to the customer again?

A re-marketed advert on a website forum (Google Re-marketing)listed 6 products (including two capo’s) at heavily discounted prices. Other attractive products included a name-brand amplifier discounted at 25%, strings, cables and pedals.

I saw several adverts (about 3 in total) which I noticed and had about a 30% inclination to buy. That’s enough really, to make me click and browse again.

The plan is simple, be strategic with your searches. Spend TIME on sites that gather this user data. Curate the information that comes to you, and use the competitive bidding that marketers use to your benefit.

Get the best deal and get it shipped.

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