How Marketers See Humans

eyeball Over at Advertising Age, Glenn Engler, CEO of Digital Influence Group, is discussing what’s wrong with the vanity-exploiting data scraper known as “Foursquare.” Foursquare is an app by which users “check in” at restaurants and other destinations. As they post their humble brags, of course, Foursquare’s proprietors and clients gain the ability to track these users’ movements, then correlate them with the continent of other marketing data in their possession.

In the course of his exegesis of how he would like to see Foursquare improve its value to the marketing class, Mr. Engler pens this line:

Retailers want a more targeted advertising base, but the customers are not immersed enough to be a highly valued “eyeball.”

Yes, “consumers,” that’s what you are to the overclass — an eyeball (or an eardrum) for the absorption of marketing stimuli. TCT is not making this stuff up. Merely reporting.

8 Replies to “How Marketers See Humans”

  1. Could “eyeball” be a more cringe-inducing term? What the hell could the talk be like around these padded, carpeted stages in adcorp LLC tp come up with the latest and greatest new Orwellian techspeak?
    As an aside, I came across the term “core discussion network” in an article on American loneliness. Although this space provides a welcome discussion node, or nodule, or whatever the hell the term should be, it cannot, by the traffic, be termed a CDN. So where are “core discussion networks” to be found? In academia? On some other, more exclusive website platform contrapion? On the job? In the family?
    Americans can’t talk about TCT matters too much in their own family, or risk vases flying, nor on the job, where enmity is barely less hidden over basic matters, but I doubt there are raging, pacific, mutually supportive sites on the interwebs – not that I would ever be capable of joining one, but I would like to know if some folks see some list-serv or web clubhouse serving that function. Feel free to ignore this completely, also – I just don’t see comments sections, as welcome as they are to democratic intercourse, fulfilling their aim. Academia – too ridden by class politics, hierarchy, grades, the follies of talk, nictitating anxiety to serve as that – or maybe it was just me.

  2. Oh, Martin, I was just about to (and I will) to post a rant amond quite similar lines.

    In a nutshell, it is hard to see a reason to not simply give up (beyond some irrational belief in humanity). What good is a glimmer of awareness, if it only helps you see the overwhelming systemic dehumanizing forces everywhere?

    Academia is a completely lost cause (beats me why C. W. Mills was still capable of seeing it as a progressive force). it is populated by the same authoritarian assholes you will find in the corporate world – except they are much harder to stomach, with their conceited bullshit and faux progressivism.

    the bottom line is, if there is no natural social structure to support discussion/organizin, there is no discussion/organizing worth talking about. With the industrial workers class gone, all that is left is the unemployed youth and terrified atomized masses living paycheck to paycheck.

    I wonder if the sparce TCT posting lately isn’t a symptom of the same exhaustion – I hope not (but I don’t know why).

  3. I’m on a bus in Belfast. People all around me. Different languages, backgrounds , ,aptitudes, viewpoints. Different stores of cash and credit. Money woes inscribed on faces and bodies. each of us variously alive and well. No doubt all kinds of irrational, magical thinking going on. Me too – atheist materialism notwithstanding . But absolutely no reason to give up on that battered old enlightenment project. Béir bua – Irish expression. Literally ‘hold victory’ more generally ‘we’ll win’.

  4. For good or ill, TCT is in this muthafucka for the 2-1. They might kill us or beat us, but we ain’t quitting. Just trying to get the book done, and also having “one of those months” in the personal sphere.

  5. Welcome the Irish report – of course the themes and expressions of life will continue on, if not in victory, but the Enlightenment has ground to a Rust Belt halt in the US – all striving will continue with a more skeptical, dismayed background, in the grand tradition of TCT.
    Even the tenured youngish types are starting to issue some “Who the hell knows what we do with any of it” pronunciamentos –
    Marla is dead-on with the capsule of the US scene, though –

  6. Good paper, Martin. However, I wonder how could they possibly omit a discussion of the sovereignty of capital as capital? Such an omission particularly muddles the discussion of the Mao/Asia scenario: their production and distribution is just as driven by global capital, and the India / China/ Indonesia etc. elites are so closely included in the global ownership class, and so comitted to upholding it, that i wonder if it is useful at all to single them out as possible agents. Further, they also seem to have strong enough middle classes who may be just as ready to embrace neo-fascist reaction as our own. Granted, this still doesn’t preclude the possibility that the Chinese, due to cultural and institutional legacies we do not have, can still make a sharp turn and pull the plug on the whole thing once they are not so dependent in their “assembly factory” position.

    The planteraty leviathan is already a fact, it is just struggling to uphold nimimum stability, which was and is the primary role of the state as a tool of the ownership class.

  7. (and even the distinction between their vs our elites is muddled – plenty US companies own more stuff in china than here…)

  8. Another thing that these two guys are missing is that capitalism really doesn’t need that much stability – and they assume that the need to restore stability will drive some of the scenarios. But that doesn’t seem true: as long the shipping lanes, the extraction sites, and a few metropolitan marketplaces are sufficiently secure, it’s all good. And it is not too hard to provide that security: the police state deals with the domestic social instability, and private contractors or the military secures the shipping lanes and the mines in the third world. Just look at Kongo – ravaged by decades of wars, millions dead, yet the minerals keep flowing just fine. The same thing is now happening in Mali (rich in uranium), and Libya (oil). So, just walling off the center for quite a while may not be quite so difficult, even in some of the more problematic climate scenarios – and none can be so disruptive as to make the whole planet actually uninhabitable… So as much as we may wish for a resolution of some kind, ending up with a whimper that’s thousands of years long is also likely (if we don’t miss the boat on nuclear energy; in that case it is 300 to 500 years max before complete regression into barbarism

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