Is Facebook Conducting Bad Experiments or Good Marketing?

Is Facebook Conducting Bad Experiments?By now, everyone has an opinion on the notorious Facebook experiment. Mostly, the consensus is that Facebook should have let users know they were part of a study that was going to be published. I agree.

As a marketer, I'm a bit torn. In helping clients grow, I tell many of them that marketing is an ongoing experiment in which we listen to the data and let it guide us. It's the most rational thing to do. And that's, at least at some level, what I think Facebook was trying to do.

Why would anyone pay us for hunches or a shot in the dark when we can recommend tactics and strategies based on verifiable, traceable data?

Whether it's through Google or HubSpot or Signals, we are ultimately trying to attract prospects and leads that will be optimal customers for our clients. We're not trying to bug people or interrupt people and that's, in my humble opinion, the great appeal of inbound marketing. We're simply trying to draw them in based on the problem or issues they are looking to solve. And we're not trying to publish our results in Psychology Today, either. We make a point to make sure the information provided to our clients is kept private and not shared or sold. 

The reality is that once you bounce onto the great wide Internet you're defaulted into one big, messy, slobbering, technocrazy experiment. Your cookies are tracked, you're remarketed to, you're A/B tested on, you're popped up on, and you are one of many unwilling subjects. Or unknowing subjects. The folks 'experimenting' on you will simply and genuinely say they seek to personalize your web experience. Why would Amazon want to show you knives if you are looking for watches?

The solution?

I'm not sure. Get off the grid if you think this stuff is truly creepy. Delete your Facebook account. After all, Mark thinks you're dumb.

But, at least in the B2B space, realize that the actions and strategies of benevolent marketers like the LyntonWeb folks (and many, many others) are designed to grow companies and connect them with the right customers. And that's definitely a good thing. 

5 Step Process to Personalizing Your Website For Each Visitor

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