22 Dec 2020 21:04 IST

Marketers are using DNA data to gauge consumer behaviour

It is reshaping the field of marketing as companies are creating genetically personalised ads for each consumer

    Music streaming service Spotify offered customised playlists based on a listener’s DNA recently. Mexico-based airline AeroMexico advertised a “DNA Discount” programme on flights to Mexico for Americans who could prove Mexican ancestry through a DNA test. The home-rental platform AirBnB, in partnership with 23andMe, is set to offer cultural trips and experiences tailored to one’s genetic heritage. Sales of genetic testing kits have increased since they first appeared on the market in 2013. Many tech-savvy businesses are tapping this treasure trove of DNA information to form enormous datasets and understand consumer behaviour, and eventually sell products.

      Wharton marketing assistant professor Gideon Nave, post-doctoral researcher Remi Daviet, and Jerry Wind, Wharton emeritus professor of marketing, authors of the paper “Genetic Data: Potential Uses and Misuses in Marketing,” discuss ethical concerns about privacy and misinformation in using DNA data for marketing. The academic paper was recently published in the Journal of Marketing, as well. According to the researchers, if genetic data is retained, it should be encrypted with specific security features. Moreover, any data mining for commercial purposes should be consented by the consumer. Read the full story here.