Remember: YOU are the data

You are the data when you search

Remember: YOU are the data

You are the data when you search

Watching the Superbowl ads, it was interesting to note how many digital companies were there, from Google to Alexa (from Amazon) to Tik Tok. Thinking about them – especially Tik Tok, as the newest company in this line up, it made me think about how each of them makes their money. After all, a 30 second ad during the Superbowl runs $5.6 million, so there must be a good reason to be there!

Did you know that 90% of online searches are on Google? They know exactly how you (as a consumer or a business person) are looking for anything. This includes searches at home as well as searches at work. How does Google earn most of its revenues? From Adwords and search, locally and nationally. So when you go online to look for something, you’re the product. Google is using your search data to serve up advertising for other companies. You clicking on those ads generates revenue for them, whether you realize it or not.

The more people who search on Google for everything, the better off Google is. So advertising during the Superbowl – especially something like voice commands – is to their advantage. Because the more people use their voice commands and inquiries, the more data they collect. If it weren’t for everyone searching online all day, every day, Google would lose its biggest revenue source. And remember, if you use Google Maps or Wayze (now owned by Google), Google knows where you’ve been, too.

The same goes for Alexa, from Amazon. Yes, it’s handy to have a voice-assist take care of your every need, but please realize that Alexa is getting just as much out of you as you are from her. I tried to look up the most popular requests from Alexa but, alas, it doesn’t exist online, at least not for me to find. Why? Because I’m sure Amazon is making the most of this information by selling it.

What you can look up are the most requested songs, for example. Or the best devices to use Alexa. All generate money for Amazon, as you then listen to those songs or buy those devices.

And then there’s Tik Tok. If you’re not aware of it, Tik Tok is the hottest new app that allows you to create fun videos and share them. Most importantly – to me, at least – it was created in China and all the data resides there, presumably. So if you use the app for free realize that – as is ALWAYS the case when something is “free,” – YOU are the data. The app is learning everything about how all its users interact with the technology in order to sell that data later.

And the Superbowl ad? It features the newest online star, a 15-year-old named Charli D’Amelio. She uses the app to create and share her dance moves with her friends and to lip-synch to popular songs. And she has 21.9 million followers.

So the next time you download a “free” app, or use an online tool for free, please just remember that everything you do on that app, or at that website, is being used to their advantage. And, as a marketer, to mine and my clients!

Are you interested, as a business owner or marketer, how to find and use that data to find people who need your product or service? Contact me and let’s talk about it!


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