Thank you for your interest in being interviewed for a study about predictive marketing professionals. This research project is part of a larger dissertation on online communities and predictive algorithms by PhD candidate Whitney Lew James at Texas Christian University.

Below is an overview of the study you are invited to participate in as well as a preview of the consent document should you choose to participate. This study was approved by TCU’s Institutional Review Board on April 23, 2019.

If you would like to participate, email Whitney Lew James at


Title of Research: Perspectives from Predictive Marketing Professionals

Principal Investigator: Dr. Brad E. Lucas, Texas Christian University

Co-investigator: Whitney Lew James, Texas Christian University

You are invited to participate in a research study. In order to participate, you must be or have been employed in predictive marketing or a related field. For the purposes of this study, predictive marketing includes but is not limited to targeted advertising, recommendation algorithms, and search engine optimization. Participants may be or have been employed at a company or corporation that directly uses predictive marketing, third-party companies that provide these services, or at a technology company that provides a platform for predictive marketing. If you choose to participate, you should be willing to grant researchers permission to record and transcribe an interview and to publish results from the study. You must be 18 years or older to participate in this study. Taking part in this research project is voluntary.

Please take time to read this entire form and ask questions before deciding whether to take part in this research project.

What is the purpose of the research?  The purpose of this study to examine how targeted advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals articulate the purpose and procedures of their work, respond to popular and professional attitudes toward targeted advertising and SEO practices, and understand the ethics of their work.

How many people will participate in this study?  If you decide to be in this study, you will be one of potentially 30 participants in this research study.

What is my involvement for participating in this study?  If you agree to be in the study, we will ask you to do the following things:

  • Work with the investigators to schedule an interview, which will last no more than two hours, at your convenience. Interviews will be conducted via telephone. Interviews will be audio recorded.
  • Prior to the interview, participants will be able to review the study goals and procedures and ask the investigator questions.
  • Once participants express interest in participating, they will be sent a consent document via email to be signed (electronically or physically) and returned before the interview. At the start of interviews, the investigator will answer any questions about the goals, procedure, and consent documents prior to recording.
  • Interviews will be informal conversations using open-ended questions. Questions will focus on your work as a predictive marketing or related field professional, your thoughts on the public perceptions and knowledge of predictive marketing, and ethical concerns in your field. If you feel uncomfortable with any question, you may ask to move to the next question.
  • Within one year of conducting the initial interview, you may be contacted for an optional follow-up interview that will last no longer than one hour.

How long am I expected to be in this study for and how much of my time is required?  You will be asked to participate in an initial interview for 20-120 minutes. Within one year of the initial interview, you may be asked to participate in a follow-up interview of no more than 60 minutes.

What are the risks to me for participating in this study and how will they be minimized?

The principal risks associated with this study are those associated with a breach of confidentiality. While it is possible that personal or sensitive subject matter may be volunteered by you in the process of interviewing, steps will be taken to ensure anonymity and to avoid threat to your employment or other potential harm from participation in the study. Steps include:

  • Signed consent documents will be stored separately from interview recordings.
  • You will not be asked to provide your name during recorded interviews.
  • Potentially identifying information will be altered.
  • You retain the right to withdraw from the study at any point.

Some participants may not be fully comfortable with the question-and-answer dynamic of the interview. If you prefer not to answer certain questions, you may simply inform the investigator to proceed to the next question. If you experience discomfort of any level or manner, you can immediately stop the interview. 

What are the benefits for participating in this study?  Direct benefits from participating in this study will be minimal. You may benefit slightly from reflecting on and articulating the goals of your work. The main benefit of this study is to academic researchers, particularly in the fields of rhetoric and communication, who are interested in predictive marketing. Should the study result in publications for popular audiences, these researchers might benefit from learning about predictive marketing.

Will I be compensated for participating in this study?  You will not receive compensation for participation in this interview project. 

What is an alternative procedure(s) that I can choose instead of participating in this study? There are no alternatives available to you other than not taking part in this study.

How will my confidentiality be protected?  If you agree to participate, the interview audio recording and any transcription will not include any reference to your name. Audio recordings and transcripts resulting from these interviews will be housed in a password-protected hard drive or cloud-based service. Consent documents will also be housed in a password-protected hard drive or cloud-based service and will be stored separately from audio recordings and transcripts.

When this study concludes, we do plan to publish the results. Efforts will be made to limit the use and disclosure of your personal information, including research study records, to people who have a need to review this information. We cannot promise complete secrecy. Your records may be reviewed by authorized University or other individuals who will be bound by the same provisions of confidentiality.

What will happen to the information collected about me after the study is over?  We will keep your research data to use for future research or other purposes. Consent documents that include your name you will be kept secure and stored separately from the research data collected as part of the project.

We may share your research data with other investigators without asking for your consent again, but it will not contain information that could directly identify you.

Is my participation voluntary? It is totally up to you to decide to be in this research study. Participating in this study is voluntary. Even if you decide to be part of the study now, you may change your mind and stop at any time. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer. If you decide to withdraw before this study is completed, the recording made of the interview will be deleted, and no transcript will be made of the interview.

Who should I contact if I have questions regarding the study?  You can contact either Dr. Brad E. Lucas at (817) 257-6981 or or Whitney Lew James at with any questions that you have about the study.

Who should I contact if I have concerns regarding my rights as a study participant?

Dr. Dru Riddle, Chair, TCU Institutional Review Board, (817) 257-6811,; or Ms. Lorrie Branson, JD, TCU Research Integrity Officer, (817) 257-4266,


**This is a preview of the consent document that you will be asked to sign should you agree to participate in the study. Consent document will be sent to the email address you provide the researcher and may be signed either digitally or by hand. The signed consent document will then be returned to and subsequently housed in a secure location as discussed above and below.

By signing this document, you are agreeing to be in this study. Make sure you understand what the study is about before you sign. A copy of this document will be stored in a secure location, separate from audio recordings or transcriptions.  If you have any questions about the study after you sign this document, you can contact the study team using the information provided above or at

  1. I grant Texas Christian University permission to audio record my interview conducted with me for the research project.
  2. In the recorded interview and any transcript (whether verbatim or edited) I will not be identified by name. My name will not appear in any transcript or reference to any material contained in the interview, and I will instead be identified by an assigned pseudonym.
  3. I understand that participation is voluntary and I can withdraw from the project without prejudice. In the event that I withdraw from the interview, the recording made of the interview and any transcripts made will be deleted.
  4. I understand that, upon completion of the interview, the recording and content of the interview belong to Texas Christian University, and that the information can be used by Texas Christian University in any manner it will determine, including, but not limited to all rights, title, and interest in the interview(s), including literary rights and copyright. I understand that the recordings and transcripts of the interview(s) will be maintained and made available by the researchers for research, production, digitization, presentations, publications, and educational purposes.
  5. I understand that at the conclusion of this particular project, the recording and transcript will be kept in possession of the principal investigator and co-investigator.
  6. If I have questions about the research project or procedures, I know I can contact the primary researcher, Dr. Brad Lucas, at or the co-investigator, Whitney Lew James, at
  7. If I feel that I have not been treated according to the descriptions in this form, or that my rights as a participant in research have been violated during the course of this project, or if I have questions about my rights as a subject, I know I can contact Dr. Dru Riddle, Chair, TCU Institutional Review Board, (817) 257-6811,; or Ms. Lorrie Branson, JD, TCU Research Integrity Officer, (817) 257-4266,

If you would like to participate, email Whitney Lew James at