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本文摘要:While I flew to Barcelona last week to speak at a conference, my iPad was at breakfast at a restaurant in Cambridge. That, at least, is what I deduced from the device’s location, transmitted to me after I activated the Find My iPhone app o


While I flew to Barcelona last week to speak at a conference, my iPad was at breakfast at a restaurant in Cambridge. That, at least, is what I deduced from the device’s location, transmitted to me after I activated the Find My iPhone app on my mobile phone.最近,当我飞抵巴塞罗那参加一个会议并讲话的时候,我的iPad正在剑桥的一家餐厅里用早餐。最少,这是我根据手机上“查询我的iPhone”应用于传授给我的设备方位信息推测出来的。

I was relieved: the tablet was neither lost nor stolen; it had been accidentally picked up by the organisers of a meeting I had attended the previous day. If, however, another app had found me at the airport and started to badger me with offers, based on my movements, prior purchases and reputation as a loyal or fickle customer, I might have felt a little uneasy.令其我宽慰的是:我的平板电脑既没有扔也没有被偷走;我前一天参与的会议的主办方无意间捡到了它。但是,如果另一款手机应用于找到我在机场,并根据我的移动路线、之前的消费记录以及客户忠诚度强弱等信息屡屡向我促销,我可能会实在有些不难受。Here is a question companies increasingly need to answer: what is the creepiness quotient of your product, or marketing campaign, and how would you know? The problem is no secret. Public examples abound. They include embarrassing personalised marketing gaffes — encapsulated in the popular, but possibly apocryphal, tale of the retailer Target, which outed a pregnant teenager to her parents by pitching certain products to her — and the more recent suspension of sales of Google Glass, amid queasiness about the device’s potential misuse. “Problem” may even be a misnomer. While Julia Angwin’s recent book Dragnet Nation describes the dark side of surveillance by companies and governments, a new book by Michael Fertik, founder of Reputation.com, which offers ways of enhancing online reputations, sees it as a simple fact of modern life, which we can exploit for advantage.如今有个问题更加必须企业来问:你们的产品或者营销有多令人不安忧虑?你们又如何告诉?这个问题早已仍然是秘密。

公开发表的例子比比皆是,还包括令人尴尬的个性化营销犯规——一个广为流传但有可能严重不足为信的故事把这一点反映得淋漓尽致:零售商Target由于给未成年少女促销涉及产品,向其父母曝露了她分娩的事实;还有最近停止销售的谷歌眼镜(Google Glass),人们忧虑该设备有可能遭欺诈。用“问题”这个词甚至都有可能不合理。朱莉娅安格温(Julia Angwin)的新书《天罗地网》(Dragnet Nation)刻画了企业和政府的监控活动的黑暗面。告诉他客户如何提升网络信誉的Reputation.com,其创始人迈克尔费蒂克(Michael Fertik)的新书更加明确提出,监控是现代生活中的一个基本事实,我们可以加以利用。

In The Reputation Economy, he and co-author David Thompson lay out plenty of examples that I find creepy. They include Facedeals, which aimed to combine facial recognition and your Facebook profile to push special offers to you when you arrive at a shop. Another is Moven, a mobile payment app, which originally set out to score customers’ social media credibility alongside traditional credit measures.在《信誉经济学》(The Reputation Economy)一书中,费蒂克与年出版者戴维汤普森(David Thompson)阐释了许多在我看来令人毛骨悚然的案例。比如Facedeals,目的将面部辨识和Facebook上的个人资料融合一起,这样当你去商店的时候,可以向你启动时尤其优惠活动。再行如手机缴纳应用于Moven,该应用于最初想给用户的社交媒体可信度评分,与传统信用衡量标准一起作为参照。“Future legal cases will have to decide at what point digital stalking gets just too creepy,” Mr Fertik and Mr Thompson write. They recommend, instead, that you publicise recent job promotions on social networks, tweet about your forthcoming purchases (“Looking for new SUV, considering @BMWUSA or @MBUSA, any experiences?”), and reconcile with bitter ex-partners who have badmouthed you online — all in the interests of making algorithms think you are a successful, luxury-car-loving, perfect date.“将来的法律诉讼案将被迫推断,数字化跟踪在什么程度上不会显得过分可怕,”费蒂克和汤普森在书中写到。

然而,他俩仍引荐人们在社交网络上公开发表自己最近的工作晋升,为你想要出售的东西发条tweet(“想要买辆新的SUV,于是以犹豫不决是卖@BMWUSA还是@MBUSA,有什么建议么?”),与在网上说道你坏话、与你愤恨很深的前任妥协——这一切都是为了让算法确认你是一个事业有成、热衷豪车的极致约会对象。Research used to show personalised marketing was persuasive and well received. But Lisa Barnard, who once worked in advertising and is now assistant professor at Ithaca College, ran some experiments aimed at identifying the creepiness quotient (she calls it the “creepiness factor”) in ad campaigns. Tailoring online advertising to individual behaviour still works, she found, but “perceived creepiness” makes customers 5 per cent less likely to make the purchase. That is 5 per cent of the budget that could be spent elsewhere, if a campaign’s CQ could be cut to zero.过去的研究经常指出,个性化营销既有说服力又更容易被拒绝接受。但是曾在广告界供职,现任伊萨卡学院(Ithaca College)副教授的莉萨巴纳德(Lisa Barnard)展开了几项试验,目的确认广告宣传的可怕程度(她称作“可怕因子”)。



Even pioneers recognise personalisation has its limits. Facedeals has become Taonii, an app which still offers tailored deals, without face recognition. “Consumers were just not quite ready,” a spokeswoman said via email. “They wanted the benefits but in a slightly friendlier [way].”甚至那些年所试水的商家也意识到个性化营销的局限性。Facedeals现在变为了Taonii,该应用于仍然获取自定义启动时服务,但是去除了面部辨识功能。“消费者还没有怎么准备好,”一位女发言人在电子邮件中说道,“他们想优惠,但是要以一种更加友好关系的(方式)。”Keith Weed, chief marketing officer of Unilever, the consumer products company, says digital personalised marketing is “a bit like when you to go to your local shop and they know you and perhaps even have what you want waiting for you”. But cosy as that sounds, he concedes that getting the online and mobile version right is “a fine balance”. For now, giving customers an easy opt-out and ensuring they know what will be shared, where and with whom, are the keys to not creeping them out, he says.消费品企业联合利华(Unilever)的首席营销官基思威德(Keith Weed)说道,数字化个性营销“类似于你到当地的商店卖东西,店家了解你并且有可能还准备好了你买的东西”。


Going back to William Lever, Unilever’s founder and early adopter of persuasive advertising, marketing has a history of constant experimentation, in which you and I are the guinea-pigs. Rapid evolution is inevitable, because the line between creepy and friendly is always shifting. A user may willingly give up information for one purpose, only to react with disgust when it is used for another. But companies owe it to their customers to come up with a better way of defining their creepiness quotient. Otherwise, deciding where “cool” becomes “eeugh” will continue to be a matter of trial and uncomfortable error.回溯到威廉利弗(William Lever)——联合利华的创始人和说服性广告的早期使用者,营销的历史就是持续大大的试验,而你我就是其中的小白鼠。快速增长的改变是不可避免的,因为可怕和甜美之间的界线总是摇摆不定。