DIGITAL MARKETING: For whom?

UntitledBecause of the asymmetric nature of information digital marketing is more beneficial for the seller rather than for the  consumers. Digital marketing has become an icon of 21st century thanks to the development of information technology . A poor farmer can contact his family from the field by using mobile handset. At the same time our society is directly affected from some sort of malpractice organised by the underworld through digital tools. Hackers create 350,000 new viruses everyday and attack anything connected to the internet. Digitization of the economy has its own pros and cons. In this short article I will underline a picture of digital marketing how it is used not for the benefit of consumers but  for digital underworld.

There are thousands of job vacancies online. however  job hunters have experience of not having any replies. According to them most of the job sites seem either fake or the job adverts are simply advertised  to show that the organisations are creating job opportunities, for which they gain some sort of black and white benefits  or that the  purpose d of these job sites to sell them training courses. A job hunter must spend at least 30 minutes to complete a job application if everything is handy and ready. They need to have internet access, computer, money and mind ready.

Dramatizing and filming are the best way of advertising in 21st century. Most of the adverts are not telling their corporate story but they are spoiling our culture and society. For example we can view an advertisement of the Mars Bar chocolate ”Mars Bar – Work Rest Play TV advert 2013” in YouTube. Is it possible that a goalkeeper who has had a mars chocolate can save the goals! If so why sums of the national income are to be paid to the players?!  Let us view the Snickers- Mr. Bin and Peugeot – The Legend Returns adverts. Is that a good way showing the brand image or telling a corporate story! Is there true story in the adverts or  they just dramatise! Is the content of the adverts taking place in real life? Absolutely not.

Paedophiles sites, sexual abuse practices, pornograpic materials, cyber crime, hackers and botnets are very closely associated with the digital world which has not been regulated or controlled effectively. Well, we encourage our children to take advantage offered by the digital resources. But how can we stop our children to access pronograpic sites who have become more curious due to their school’s lesson of health science. Rules to use facebook say that the users must be of a minimum of 13 years old and need to be registered. At least users need to have their personal account to use social media but sexual sites are not even restricted as social medias are. We are fond of using social medias. How our  ‘clicked friends’ (I would rather prefer to say so-called friends) are honestly using these social medias ! Millions are bullied everyday by using fake accounts, names, addresses and any other identities.

Customers are forced to buy antivirus software programs to run the Internet through their Service Providers (ISPs; for example in the UK, like BT, Sky, Virgin Media or TalkTalk) to increase their business. It seems that ISPs companies encourage the purchase of the programs to increase their revenue. Like these way companies have been using many tricks to exploit their customers.

Well, it is true that the ownership of a digital product is not clear. For example customers have been using the mail account for a long time by using their personal information and storing documents in their mail accounts. We do online transactions, payments, oyster cards, mobile phone payments so on. Most of us don’t read a single line of TERMS OF CONDITIONS as well. These accounts may cease any time. Service providers may go out of business or the provision of their services can change. Consumers may lose their data. A genuine question is who actually own the mail accounts, users or service providers?  Actually in digitization it seems that customers are using neighbour’s house to keep their valuable property safe.

Privacy, confidentiality and security matters have been a big issue to be considered while talking about digital marketing. Let us have a look to some published news. The Guardian says ” Angela Merkel’s call to Obama: are you bugging my mobile phone?”  Another news in The Washington Times‘Putin’s Kremlin uses typewriters to prevent computer leaks”. Similarly news like ‘Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and others released US governmentdata request details’; ‘Five million Gmail usernames, passwords hacked’; and ‘eBay thought user data was safe, but 145 million accounts were compromised in massive hack. If the Head of the States do not feel safe then who is safe?  A simple example: we do receive Junk emails. How our e-mail addresses have been acquired by senders that we never request anything from them. How have the personal IDs been stolen by cyber vigilantes? Hence, Consumers are being hacked their sovereignty in the digitized system.

Reliability is another big question that should be raised for the digital marketing. How safe and reliable service providers are?! Products must have a ISO 9000 certificate before put into the market for sale. But the products that are sold through the web do not need such ISO 9000 certificates.

In the money market the core function of Bitcoin is defined ‘’as a non-political online money, Bitcoin is backed exclusively by code. This means that—ultimately—it is only as good as its software design.’’ As said by Bitcoins Foundation it sounds central bank is being replaced from ‘software money’. But there is lack of transparent  testimonials in it as an approved scheme.  As a student of economics I must seek reliability, safety and security behind the scheme of Bitcoins. Up to date there is no hope that Bitcoin Foundation can replace any kind of money like M1, M2 or M3 . If the Bitcoin Foundation is successful then it will be a good start to replace or reduce Bank’s financial autocracy and their Bonus culture too.

Well, of course, there is another world where more than 3.5 billion poors live. Due to lack of infrastructure and budget they are marginalized from the modernising process. According to the Former US President Jimmy Carter ‘‘Globalisation, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing… you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn’t affect two-thirds of the people of the world.”  The statements of Carter indicates clearly that people must have access of computer, internet and electricity to use the digital market. But these basic products are out of reach of the poor. Higher the purchasing power of consumers bigger the size of the market. So this is also a considerable issue while overviewing the scenario of the digital marketing.

Considering such unanswered questions the digital economy is still under huge doubt. Markets grow in an “ethical soil’. The digital marketing is a big achievement that helps humans to improve their quality of life. However to improve the quality of life the digital world should be accessible to all. More investment on infrastructure is required to make it globally accessible. The certification system like ISO 9000 will be helpful for the quality and uniformity of the web and the digital markets.

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2 Comments

  1. A great piece Jesi! You raise some important questions. Here is a question I often ask myself. How is it that products sold via Ebay produced in China are shipped to the UK without paying any import duty. The Treasury must be losing millions in unpaid duty an excise whilst the Great China Experiment rolls-on. This question, like many that you raise needs exposing. Please, keep up the good work, and getting the message out there!

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