I get to consume lot of content daily and one of my sources is an email listserv that Doc Searles runs which covers the topic of 'VRM' or Vendor Relationship Mgmt (think the other half of the coin to CRM, Customer Relationship Mgmt).  The underlying premise of the discussions in the group are that consumers can, and are preparing to, control the data relationship with the vendors they choose to do business with and not the other way around.  

In the brave new world ahead, I predict that customers will demand greater and greater control over their data and information related to their online persona.  They will make their own determinations about who gets access to it and will look for what vendors (brands, companies and advertising networks) are prepared to exchange for access to the data about them, their social habits and purchase behavior.  

IMHO, All marketers would be wise to prepare for this eventuality now by constructing systems or using platforms that cater to this model and with the preponderance of content generated re; food and the dining experience, I think the foodservice industry needs to be out in front of it.  The reality of this perspective can be seen today in the UK legislation in force already and in the US via the 'do not track' initiatives being sponsored by industry - initiatives that is only a little ahead of government intervention.

The slippery slope we're on can be seen if you click this link and see which of the 89 major ad networks already have a cookie on your machine.  I clicked it and was amazed at how many of them already had a cookie on my system - it also provides the ability to opt-out of all of them in 2-3 mouse clicks or so.

Tell me below in the comments 1) if you clicked the link, 2) if you were surprised or not at all the cookies already on your system and 3) if you agree that foodservice can take a leadership role in deploying tactics that cater to the concepts of VRM.

Socially Yours,

Steven Groves



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Image Courtesy of Life Magazine and the Google Public Domain archives (

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