Not my problem will one day become your problem.
I got tens of thousands of lead from my lead gen campaign within a short period of time, wow!!! Let us all applaud to the efforts of everyone involved. NOT.
This is more of narrating a couple of significant, out of the many experiences I had, in the bad implementation of technology (hacking, security, vulnerability may sound too scary) that I have experienced over the last 6 months. This is not about what went wrong and how it was made to go wrong. It is more about how everyone associated with a brand should take ownership when they notice that something is off.
Let me start by a simpler example.
The dreaded forms to capture leads from lead gen campaigns.
As everyone is aware, a typical form is used to let users submit their details to the brand to express their interest in what the brand is offering. Once the details are captured, it is then shared with the client, analyzed, blah blah blah for further processing.
Now what if the details being captured are not from humans? How do you verify if the leads coming in are not automated? If you do not have such checks in place, then why bother even running a campaign?
Over the last 6 months, as a hygiene check, for all the clients that we work with (including potential ones), I try and automate the process of submitting information without actually using the form. What is the harm in this you ask? Probably miniscule if 1 person like me is doing this, now imagine tens of thousands of such automated programs running simultaneously targeting your server. If one person doing such a thing, it is a nudge, when thousands of such things come together, it will be hitting your server with a Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer J) and taking it down. I don’t think I will have to tell you the implications of a server going down in the middle of a campaign or about all the junk being pumped in which may have potential to give access to all the sensitive information that is being captured. In addition to this, just imagine all the resources and the effort that will need to be put just to control the damage.
I love discounts, but what if I can get it for free?
Now, let us go shopping to an ecommerce website, order something and get it without having to pay anything for it. Yes, you read it right. I think I don’t need to elaborate on what all can happen in this scenario.
But why is this happening?
Based on our interactions with brands on such incidents, it was clear that the ownership of anything related to technology was usually only with the technology team. This mindset needs to change. I believe that the onus about anything out of place is on everyone who is working for the brand. Be it the sales, marketing, BD, etc from the brand side or servicing, creative, media, etc from the agency side. Even if your office HR reports something wrong, it should be given a deeper look instead of just passing it on to the tech team.
Technology is developed by humans and humans are not perfect, things can be overlooked by mistake, but only through a collective effort can such mistakes, be fixed without damaging the brand.
In the current connected world, the best way to go forward is together. But if such a mindset continues, then any damage to the brand will have repercussions to anyone and everyone involved. And here is where “Not my problem” will end up being “your problem” whether you like it or not.