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Ashley Madison and the Case for In the Moment Marketing

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Sh*t is getting ready to hit the fan again. Just now on Twitter I was curious about the Ashley Madison scandal. So I did a trending hashtag search on the topic. I found it fascinating how it kind of exposed sunlight to the other side of or the ugly side of the web where people like to play, preferrably in the dark. Pun intended.

Think Bitcoins and Silk Road but in the name of cheating…

For those in the know, this is just another notch in the belt of just how “nonprivate” your privacy is and how your data is, for wont of a better analogy, nothing more than sargassum seaweed. It’s there, there’s a lot of it and it can be found by anyone virtually anywhere at any time.

Except this time, the hack is different because it involves sex and outing some people who might have preferred to have had their dark digital selves kept just that, in the dark. For the uninitiated, you’re thinking might be, Ashley Madison is a website for what? People who want to cheat? Seriously?

At which point, your initial reaction might be:

  • You mean there’s a website for something like that?
  • It’s user base is how many?
  • These people actually thought their data would be safe?

Yea, I’m with you on all accounts. That’s today’s web. There’s a tribe and a site for everyone. Those that play on this side of the tracks and yes those that prefer to play on the other side of the tracks. The digital underbelly.

Meanwhile, what struck me as interesting about all of this, was the usage of in the moment marketing. Particularly, it was a paid search placement on Twitter on behalf of crisis management.

See Below:

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So what was it? Smart marketing PR? Or a troll like activity? A good usage of social media monitoring your key words? Or is it digital ambulance chasing? I haven’t decided yet what it was. Maybe all of the above.

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The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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August 2015
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