Between Google and Facebook, your every online move is monitored. If you take online quizzes, those can provide insight into your personality and motivations and even your IQ. Through GPS, your mobile device can follow your every movement. Security cameras capture you or your automobile and its license plate wherever you go. New wearable devices monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and skin moisture and therefore your state of mind. Apps can measure the number of paces you have taken in a day. The camera on your Google Glass can capture what you are seeing. And big data analytics can discover important patterns and correlations between data sources.
We are truly entering a world in which almost everything can be known about us. How might this play out in marketing? What if marketers could figure out not only what we had bought in the past but also what we might buy in the future and what if they could link that to geotargeting (location-based marketing) and geofencing (combining location and timing in marketing messaging)? And what if, knowing your circle of friends and who you are closest to through social media, they can tell you which friend just bought something similar?
For example, you have been thinking about buying a pair of Ferragamo shoes and you walk by a boutique that carries the pair of shoes you have been considering purchasing. Your mobile device vibrates in your pocket and alerts you to the fact that you are in front of a store that has what you want and it offers a time-sensitive discount on the shoes if purchased at that store. Further, it mentions that your best friend bought a pair of Ferragamo shoes last week (peer pressure/reinforcement). Upon detecting elevated heart rate and more rapid breathing, your personal device prompts you again with another selling message for those shoes. Far fetched? Not really. Welcome to the 21st Century.