The RealAge of marketing

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I always knew that those Facebook quizzes were gathering data, but today's New York Times hones in on the data details of one in particular -- the RealAge quiz. Sure, I'll admit it, I've taken it -- in fact, my RealAge is at least 10 years less than I really am...thank goodness! But the quizzes are also a way for pharma companies to gather data about potential customers in a way that would be nearly impossible without these online options. The companies pay RealAge to compile the test results and send them marketing e-mails, all with sophisticated segmentation and targeting.

The truth is, though, that consumers generally have no idea that their data is being collected when they take these short, fun quizzes -- so there's no doubt that some would likely be peeved if they found out. Certainly pharma companies always have a hard time communicating with their audiences online -- at our recent Caples Jam, I chatted with a few pharma agency folks to wrestled with the notion of pharma entering the social media space. It's hard to say whether the vast majority of consumers would consider the benefits of these online/social media quizzes worth the trade-off.

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