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  • Disclosure
    Nobody pays me to write any of the copy on my blog, and should I ever have the good fortune that they do, I will declare it. My main employment is as the owner and principal of The Future Place consultancy. The Future Place provides two key services 1) training and services to industry and academic bodies and 2) consultancy services to companies. The details of the companies I work with are a private matter, but if I blog about any company who has paid The Future Place more than expenses recently (approx. two years) I will mention that they are a client. I hold equity in Virtual Surveys and provide consulting services to them from time to time. I am paid to run courses for a number of trade bodies and over the last few years clients have included ESOMAR, AMSRS, MRS, and MRIA.

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No question that this "big data" idea is going to be the future for market research. Access to large amounts of very specific data will help marketers to be able to create much better consumer profiles that don't just look at age and location, but more specific things like interests and purchases so that each consumer can be targeted more effectively.
On one end, this will be a great thing for marketers. However, as I'm also a consumer all this access to my data also frightens me a little bit. What if a marketer could target me so well that I just couldn't say no? It means they've done a great job, but it also means I'm sure to be out of more of my hard earned money on something I may or may not have actually needed. I think there's going to have to be a very fine line to walk between what information consumers share and what marketers can access. Of course, this is also my weary consumer side speaking.

Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

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