How can brands incentivise customers to give them their data? Frédéric-Charles Petit, CEO of Toluna, looks at how brands can use data to achieve the best ROI.
Most consumers are torn about issues surrounding data sharing and privacy. While everyone inarguably wants to benefit from the improved and relevant offers and services that sharing their personal data can afford, they also want to protect their privacy and are concerned about whose hands their data might fall into.
Meanwhile, companies place a high priority on their ability to harness data – ranging from point-of-sale to data provided via social media. Business leaders know they must strike a necessary balance by providing consumers with the expected safeguards to ensure trust, and collecting data when it makes the most sense. So how can they execute this process effectively without reinventing the entire business operation?
Get closer to the consumer
Adhering to privacy laws is vital – and many businesses are obsessive about this – but that shouldn’t prevent data collection via third parties. Smartphone tracking is already prolific and data is continually being mined by high-tech media and market research companies. The key to optimising data collection while respecting privacy is to get as near to the point-of-purchase decision process as possible without being intrusive. In retail, for example, ‘what’ data, such as point-of-sale and loyalty card records can be combined with ‘why’ data, such as recall-based information gained from post-purchase surveys.
Supplement ‘what’ data with ‘why’ data
A company can never have ‘too much’ data – they just need to know how to use it correctly. In most cases, companies have access to transactional data and third-party data, which combined can paint a deeper picture of the consumer. Coupling data with attitudinal information can help to answer the ‘why’ behind the ‘what,’ driving a business’ decision-making process. Big data does not have to be intimidating, nor does it need to be all-inclusive. The goal is obtaining deeper insight and using the available data in meaningful ways. This can be done incrementally to build up an accurate picture of their customers.
Real-time business intelligence
Organisations rely on real-time intelligence as the data from consumer interactions now builds at hyper speed. More and more the challenge is keeping up with the ebb and flow of information that is available. For the first time, analysing and refining ‘what’ data – as well as adding the crucial layer of ‘why’ data – can now be carried out simultaneously in real time.
Think of privacy as a value exchange
Despite concerns over data privacy, most consumers are willing to provide in-depth information to brands that build trust over the course of the customer journey – particularly if there is an incentive to do so. Amazon is a brand consumers trust with their personal data – sharing recommendations and reviews makes them feel included and part of a group rather than tracked or over-targeted. As long as consumers feel they are being rewarded – whether financially or socially – they are usually willing to share their data.
Until recently, the discussions on Big Data have been largely conceptual, but now businesses are actually implementing Big Data initiatives to understand what their customers are doing – and then using this data to optimise their marketing campaigns. So with the technology now in place, it’s up to marketers to decide whether the wave of “Big Data” will be promising or perilous.
By Frederic Charles Petit