Privacy & Autonomy in a
Learning Module 5:
Marketing and E-Commerce
5: Marketing & E-
Marketing & E-
• Marketers are interested in knowing as
much about you as possible so they can:
– develop products and services that will be of
interest to you
– Develop their marketing message and
advertising so that it will appeal to you
• Surveys: Marketers will ask individuals to complete
surveys usually by enticing them with prizes or
money on completion
• Focus groups: Gather a group of individuals together
to discuss their views on a certain product or
• Customer Discount Cards: customers gain discounts
on products and services in exchange for providing
their personal information and allowing marketers to
track their purchases
• Cookies: Electronic text files planted on a users’ computer that
collects information about the users’ preferences, including the
sites visited. Normally, they are planted without the users
knowledge or consent.
• Web bugs: Work with cookies to mine data from internet users;
can be embedded in web pages or email messages
• Spyware: can track the user sites visited and ultimately piece
together bits and pieces of information to begin to construct
more comprehensive user identities.
• Clickstream Data: Tracks how an individual responds to
advertising and websites by recording how long a consumer
stays on a particular image or website. Marketers can glean
which images draw consumers’ attention.
• Advergames: Interactive online games centred around a
brand, and products or brand related characters used to collect
information and inundate users with subtle marketing
messages. Studies have shown that users are more
susceptible to these messages when playing such games.
• Blogs: Marketers may simply read blogs to determine the
interests and preferences of users. They also use software to
“mine” blogs, creating comprehensive databases.
• The role of marketers is to collect personal
information about their users so that they can
develop products and services that individuals will
like, and hopefully purchase.
• Marketers are also skilled at developing strategies to
encourage individuals to purchase their products.
• Marketers use a variety of techniques and platforms
to collect personal information and to convey their
• How do you feel about the methods through
which marketers collect information from you?
• How do these methods impact your personal
• Do you think that the online techniques of
marketers are more or less intrusive to users
than traditional marketing techniques? Why or