Last year, fitness app Strava released its data as a “fun” infographic heat map showing all the activity of its users (in the macro) around the world?
No big, right?
Unfortunately, the info also ended up showing the locations of active, and secret, military bases around the world, including streets and perimeters, and where major workout and gathering points are located. There was even one lone bicyclist who helpfully did an entire circuit of Area 51. Oops.
Everyday, technology is changing and challenging organizations across the world. While opportunity is ripe for brands that adopt the latest apps, platforms, or other digital newcomers, the risk of unintended consequences is also higher than ever.
Ensuring you are considering not just the potentials of a marketing tactic, but are also looking for the ways things could go awry, is essential. Doing so while not losing momentum or opting out of marketing entirely is equally as important.
So, how can you take advantage of the latest data and technology trends without becoming the next cautionary tale?
Inform, But Protect
- First, don’t be afraid of information or communicating with numbers. Just be careful. Transparency and openness are still key to building trust with audiences.
- Make sure you are looking at data from all view points. Keep an eye out for potential hazards that might inadvertently hurt you OR you customers. Also, think about pulling in multiple viewpoints beyond your immediate team or department.
- For larger organizations, and public agencies in particular, make sure you truly understand the new technologies and trends you are using. This is not only important for good communications, but potentially critical to the safety and security of your employees and customers.
- Communications isn’t easy, but don’t go full-blackout either. If you don’t feel comfortable navigating the field, find a partner who specializes in knowing this stuff and can help you navigate the unknowns.
Unfortunately, new technologies, “big data,” and even infographic design strategy are still a bit “Wild West” at the moment. Meaning most people are still figuring out how to safeguard against what they don’t know about their data.
The old adage, “ask for forgiveness not permission,” is a lot harder to defend when millions of people’s private and personal data is on the line. Make sure your marketing strategies are both creative and conscientious.
Feel free to get in touch to discuss your marketing strategies.