• Emily Lynch

Big Data, Marketing and Ethics

Hello world and welcome to my blog!

I’ve been thinking for a while about how to kick start this thing and the first thing I want to talk about here is ethics.

I’ve been semi struggling with this identity as a marketing writer and how it’s going to co-exist with my creative life.

Marketing kind of goes against everything that creative artists try to avoid, and yet it’s unavoidable. The fact that I’m interested in both places me in a kind of inscrutable position.

Marketing is also semi synonymous with dishonesty which goes against everything I’ve worked my whole life to build. So here goes, I’m an advocate for honest marketing.


Because somebody has to be! And because you either are or you aren’t honest as a business, there’s no fence sitting. But it’s even more than that, to be dishonest in business is a slippery slope into being a criminal of sorts. Dishonest business is the reason behind all of the corruption in the world.

You can be dishonest in whatever industry to work in, but you can’t be “kind of honest”.

Also, this ship is sailing whether we like it or not. I like a good old protest as much as any musician, but marketing is shaping the world and there needs to be people de tangling the mess left in its wake.

Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world of dishonest marketing and how the absence of ethics is shaping the world.

Cambridge Analytica

In 2016, a big ugly data harvesting and “political consulting” firm illegally used the data of over 87 million Facebook users to strategically target advertising to promote the Trump campaign. They also sold data to the Brexit campaign and a number of other political campaigns.

Yep, sorry, that was a mouthful.

Basically, what this means is that Facebook sold the information of its users (you and me) to this company who then used it to create data profiles on these people.

These profiles were then used to target advertising to the right kind of profile that would be…basically vulnerable to a political propaganda campaign.

There’s a whole documentary about this now. You can also watch the whole court hearing with the director of the company after she blew the whistle on them.

Big Data in Marketing

If you didn’t already know, data is now the most valuable asset on earth. Why? Well, if you can harvest enough data on people you can target your advertising to the people who are most likely to buy into whatever you are selling.

This is particularly powerful and dangerous if what your selling is your political agenda. There’s also a new trendy term floating around: weaponised data, which is sadly exactly what it sounds like.

And this my friends, is a dark and evil side of marketing that I do not want to be a part of.

I do want to help honest businesses understand how to be competitive in the online space, how to get the most out of the best platforms for them, how to use creative content to show up on platforms like Google and Facebook.

So, that’s what I do. At this stage I am writing for websites about this marketing stuff, so you can hire my writing to keep your blog updated or your website copy clean.

Take care all! See you around the internet places X