Audience measurement is an act that the media companies that own and control our favourite television channels, radio stations and online content. It’s this information after all that they use to help determine what content is a hit and what content is Everybody Dance Now… I mean, a miss.
Marketers and big business however also use audience measurement, and if you’ve got a Flybuys or Everyday Rewards card, then you are playing right into their little markety hands. How gross. I could go all conspiracy theory on you and say “CUT UP YOUR CARDS, DO IT NOW” but I really don’t care if they know what I’m buying, and I don’t think you should either. If you really want to be private about it just don’t swipe your card. If you want to know more about what information they collect about you, just have a read of the 16 point list here. But hey, at least they aren’t “selling” it to people. Isn’t that a bonus?
Businesses like Coles, as you might have guessed, can use this information to help decided what they put on special and what products they link – an example given in Jason Pallant’s piece over at The Conversation is recognising the linked purchase of particular pasta and pasta sauces. I don’t know about you, but I would be perfectly happy if a company tailored their specials to suit me (As long as it doesn’t lead to my parents finding out I’m pregnant). I’d feel a little special – “Oh, for me Coles? You shouldn’t have!”
Here’s a little snipet from ABC TV’s The Checkout about all of this fancy data collection.