(Data)Mining Your Business

 The proliferation of social media over the last decade has provided an effective new platform for market research.  The shift to user driven content dominates the way we use the Internet, generating more data than ever before.  Such publicly accessible social media reveals information on user’s activities and interests that has created a new realm of market research.

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Research by database

The ability of a database to collect and analyse data sets from millions of social media posts, including images videos and user posts, in a real-time or near-basis, enables marketers to gain an insight into consumer preferences that were not possible through traditional avenues of market research.  Based purely on our Internet activity, companies are able to use data to devise formulas and algorithms that can identify market trend before they are manifested.

The below clip from The ABC, The Checkout provides a more detailed description of data mining, demonstrating the extent to which data is used to target consumers.

How your data is being used

Social media data mining has become a useful tool of research and advertising as it enables marketers to learn more about the behavioural patterns of consumers.  The development of advertisement exchanges enables companies to simultaneously identify who their potential customers are and then retarget them with advertisements.

The Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX), for example, is an ad exchange whereby a company installs cookies in their browsers to identify the users that are viewing their site.  This information is then used to retarget the user when they log into their Facebook account by displaying ads on their newsfeed.  The diagram below by demonstrates the process.


User Privacy & Ethical Responsibility

The collection of user data has created a multitude of issues and debate concerning the impingement on a user’s privacy.  Maintaining consumer trust to essential part of market research and sharing data without permission can create distrust among potential users, however, as Tiwary argues, market research is valuable for the consumer as it enables companies to provide products to the marketplace more efficiently.

So the question that needs to be addressed here is to what extent can marketers collect data from user before it is classified an invasion on privacy?  What concessions are we willing to make to our privacy in order for to the a marketplace that is tailored to each of our individual consumer preferences?  It will be interesting to see how what regulations are established in the future to limited the invasion of user privacy.

A Fettes (216048396)


Tiwary, R (2015) Research Starters: Business (Online Edition)

Feng, J, Barbosa, L & Torres, V (2012) Systems and Methods for Social Media Data Mining [online] available at https://www.google.com.au/patents/US20120047219 [accessed 15 April 2016]

Nunan, D & Di Domenico, M (2013) Market research and the ethics of big dataInternational Journal of Market Research, 55 (4), 2-13.

Photo Source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/what-is-this-facebook-fbx-nonsense-and-why-should-i-care/

Photo Source: http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/10/facebook-inc-fb-ad-exchange-fbx-step-by-step-analysis/


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