Influence v control: the morals of behavioral marketing

By Chris Sutcliffe | Senior reporter



The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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June 9, 2022 | 2 min read

In this week's episode of The Drum Network podcast we take a look at behavioral marketing - both the good and the bad. In order to do behavioral science effectively we have to gather information on our audiences. But what happens when that data is misused - and how do we ensure it's only used constructively?

Some high-profile instances of data misuse - Cambridge Analytica among them - demonstrate that while the practices of behavioral marketing are sound, the means of doing it are susceptible to misuse. This episode of the The Drum Network podcast examines all that and more:

  • The use of techniques from psychology and behavioral science to segment people and influence their behavior has been on a journey over the last few years, with Cambridge Analytica a low point and continued pressure for people using these techniques to be more transparent. How should behavioral science practitioners in the advertising space make sure their work is ethical?

  • What regulations and standards should marketers be aware of?

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  • Other than privacy and transparency, what other ethical dimensions are at play in this space? For example, implicit bias in research.

  • What is the role of big tech in this ecosystem, and how can marketers navigate that ecosystem responsibly?

The Drum's senior tech reporter Chris Sutcliffe is joined by an expert panel consisting of: Tara Austin of Ogilvy UK; Reading Room's Alexei Lee; and Roy Armale of VMLY&R Commerce.

Content created with:

VMLY&R COMMERCE is WPP’s end-to-end Creative Commerce Company. Built on the commerce expertise and scaled through VMLY&R’s connected brand promise, we help modern brands grow by unifying marketing strategies around commerce.

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We're Reading Room, an award-winning digital consultancy. For over 20 years, we've been helping businesses solve problems and unlock value for their users.

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Ogilvy is all about depth and breadth - we have London's broadest and deepest skillset in communications our award-winning teams work fluidly across our core capabilities Advertising Brand & Content, Experience, PR and Influence. And we have the UK's largest dedicated team of award-winning behavioural scientists in-house.

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