The Value of Consumer Data

We live in an increasingly digital world. Everyday activity and interaction is syndicated online, whether it be shopping, socialising or dating. This online activity is leaving a data footprint behind every consumer and smart businesses are collecting and using this to improve the customer experience they offer.

Data has the power to boost customer satisfaction and, ultimately, better your business. However, data isn’t just a money-maker, it’s an asset that needs to be protected. After all, it can provide organisations with an unprecedented opportunity to improve customer experience, through highly personalised and targeted communications.

In order to reap the benefits, however, businesses first need to get and keep hold of consumer data. If consumers trust you they will more happily hand over their data. In a recent survey we commissioned we found that 35% of 18- to 34-year olds in the UK are comfortable providing personal information to organisations for the purpose of tailored future offers and communication. However, only 35% of UK adults said that they trust businesses to use their personal data as directed by them. There’s clearly a need for businesses to be more upfront with consumers about how they plan on using this data and to make sure they obtain the necessary consent for this. This will enable a mutually beneficial relationship to be established. In an online environment, could be as easy as unobtrusive pop-ups, which let consumers know how their data will be treated. Bite-sized overviews of the ‘contract’ and easy-to-access T&Cs are also good tools to use.

Consumers want to know what their personal data will be used for and be reassured about how the privacy of that information will be upheld. Of course there will always be some that are nervous when handing over their data, but this can be addressed through better communication. ­­­

The fact remains that consumer data can provide organisations with a great opportunity to boost customer experience and encourage greater customer loyalty. Gaining a 360-degree view of customers is key to this, and can be achieved by taking into account all the products or services a consumer engages with. Instead of leaving valuable data untapped in multiple business applications and platforms, it can then be put into action and used to generate highly personalised campaigns that will grab the attention of new and existing customers.

What is your view on personal data? Would you be willing to share more data today via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites then you were a year or two ago?

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One Response to The Value of Consumer Data

  1. Tom Kato says:

    Companies have been collecting that data for years, yet have no idea how to use it. They are the little cards you carry around in the US for grocery stores, Best Buy, cosmetics, loyalty programs, etc. They have been promising targeted marketing campaigns without delivery. Hundreds to thousands of terabytes worth of information on buying habits of their loyal customers without a targeted marketing campaign to me is a failure in implementation.

    However, technology has changed. With the rise in Hadoop, this type of data is more easily accessible. These companies, such as grocery stores, can and should go back to this data and start using it to target consumers. For example, they would know for the past 5-6 years that 4 times a month someone comes in to buy a loaf of whole wheat bread, Skippy peanut butter and Smuckers jelly along with 2 cases of Coca-cola. Targeted marketing would offer a discount for either these items or possibly a higher priced item in order to see if they would purchase. There are many use cases for the data, yet most have failed to implement.

    The only targeted customer marketing I have seen that works comes from Las Vegas. Based on the card you get, they know when you gamble and how much you wage. They know when to send a perk your way (free dinner or free massage) to keep you in their hotel.

    As far as online data, this is where data integration should start making a difference. This data needs to be brought in house and smart analytics used to parse through text to garner valuable information. This data could help shape new product development, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, etc.

    We are, and have been, in a social media overload of information with very little harvesting. It’s time to reap the benefits of this valuable data!

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