Anyone who knows me knows how passionately I believe you need to know everything there is to know about your customer. You just can’t tell anybody about it. There is a law suit that has been filed against Blockbuster for participating in Facebook’s Beacon Program. The Beacon program tells members about things that their friends have bought on-line. As a part of their viral internet marketing campaign, Blockbuster intended to tell others what kinds of great rentals they have and their friends have gotten. When the program started out, you had to opt out if you didn’t want the rental information set. Four weeks after launch, they revised it so that you had to opt in. Needless to say, there were a lot of controversy around making this information public.
What is the lesson here? As you move forward in your marketing campaigns and find out more and more information about your customers, just make sure you guard that information very carefully because with greater information comes greater responsibility.