To Tell the Truth


By the age of four, 90% of children have grasped the concept of lying and 76% of adults said it’s ok to “lie” sometimes. When you received a warranty card with request for self reported data had you lied about your age or income? How much your home is worth? They say 20% of us HAD.

I can “honestly” say in my 20’s I lied when filling out surveys and warranty cards. Or as I like to say, I stretched the truth. Who would I be hurting by saying I made $100k when I really only made $25k or that I read the Wall Street Journal when I was really reading People Magazine.

However, in the past couple of decades a new form of “self reported” data collecting has taken shape. It is called the internet. Behavioral data is factual. We know that you have visited a particular site because you are interested in the product(s). It is captured in real-time and updated constantly. What visiting the sites says about a consumer gives a broader and greater portrait of the audience.

So what does this mean for marketing companies when prospecting with online inquirer files?

For starters, a person is more apt to not lie about specific questions being asked as they were searching YOU out. They are more likely to tell the truth about their needs, wants and many times their personal information because they NEED information. There is sense of anonymity with little fear of reprisal.

We as consumers know the more truthful we are in reporting information, companies will be able to market the right products needed at the exact time needed in a consumers lifestyle. By reporting you are a cat owner, we will be able to provide you with cost saving coupons for cat products. Or by checking off you are interested in stocks and bonds, we as marketers will be able to send you opportunities in the financial sector to aid to your wealth.

The ability to fact check in real time. Google your name, I dare you. I did and over 12 sites were matched to my name (and I stopped looking after page 2). You can see where I live, my age, who my relatives are, my job experience (past and present), what social media sites I am on (and what I said or posted) and even what conferences I have attended! It is that finite!

And lastly with DATA front and center, we have the ability to take these online inquirers, opportunity seekers and match to confirm age, income, # of children, where they live, what their phone # is, what social media sites they are posting to and most importantly what they have purchased.

One could say Big Brother is watching. But as a marketer I say it aides us to prospect and reach the right audience at the right time. By providing truthful self reported information and activities makes us as an industry smarter and you as a consumer better educated.

So go ahead and try to lie, the power of data will always tell the truth!

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