Big Data for marketing: Respect consumer privacy or get burned

By Thor Olavsrud, CIO |  Big Data, Marketing

The percentages do vary somewhat by country. For instance, Kohn notes that Germans are far more willing to share information about their sexual preferences than respondents from the U.K. or U.S. Respondents from France are the most reticent about sharing information about their sexual preferences. The French are also more guarded about information relating to their political leanings, ethnicity or religion than respondents from the other surveyed countries.

Security and Data Privacy Compliance Essential

"Every marketer must begin with full compliance with all security and privacy regulations in his or her country," Kohn says. "Beyond that, brands would do well to be aware of these consumer perceptions as they collect data across all channels. By honoring consumer sensitivities across these four archetypes of data, brand interactions should hit home and multi-channel marketing metrics may improve dramatically."

Consumers' willingness to share their personal data also varies by the organization asking for it. Consumers are most willing to share their personal data with doctors and other healthcare providers (an average of 39% of respondents across the countries surveyed are willing to share data with their doctors and healthcare providers). Kohn attributes this to the fact that consumers understand the quality of the care they receive is dependent on the information they share, so they perceive the value in sharing. Consumers are least willing to share their personal information with fitness clubs (only 13% are willing), retail loyalty programs (15% are willing) and utilities (19% are willing).

"Consumers don't necessarily see the value in trading off data with these organizations," Kohn explains. "What they get in terms of a quid pro quo with those suppliers is not quite so clear. With a bank they can get guidance. A doctor will help you with that information. Consumers are looking for a two-way, value-creating conversation, not just an offer."

Six Steps to Better Data Management

When it comes to collecting and leveraging Big Data for customer communications, Kohn recommends the following data management steps:

Ensure compliance with all local and federal data regulations and keep up with current legislation.

Get the basics right (name, address, etc.) before trying to develop the customer relationship further.

Be clear about your intention. Say why you would like to know more and explain the benefit of sharing the data to your customer.

Understand the limits of your brand. Do customers come to you because you do a simple service well? If so, don't attempt to create a bigger "customer experience" where it may not be necessary or valued.

Don't let data defeat you. Technology and support exists at every business level.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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