So ye olde Internets were abuzz last week with reports about Samsung Smart TVs both tracking owners’ conversations and serving up ads in the midst of already purchased movie content. Samsung is quick on the defense to assure customers that the parameters of their products’ voice recognition and intent is perfectly business appropriate and not heralding the feared dawn of a dystopian surveillance state for all.
That all said, the hysteria over the initial reports of Smart TVs recording their unsuspecting owners really throws into relief the precarious balance we are going to have to strike in coming years as marketers. One of our core tenets as an agency is that the advertising we put out itself is an uninvited guest to consumers and that we always have to be cognizant that we are crafting engagement that begs their participation, enjoyment and trust. If potential customers are instantly turned off by a brand’s efforts at the data collection that is used to inform and time the creative messaging they receive, we could be hitting a brick wall by the time we arrive on the scene. As the age of the Internet of Things, Big Data and Empowered Data continues to unfold, we can’t lose focus on that delicate entity known as consumer trust during all phases of the marketing cycle.