New strategies for capturing primary customer data
For companies, customer data is a valuable asset. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to generate this asset.
There is a growing resistance from consumers when it comes to sharing their personal information. On the one hand there is growing fear to lose control over their data. On the other hand, consumer awareness is increasingly aroused for the value of their personal information. Although the exact value of the data is difficult to estimate, it certainly depends to a great extent on the context in which the data is used.
“Wibson,” a decentralized database determines the average contribution to the advertising ecosystem on US Facebook users. Hence, the advertising industry achieved a value of approximately $ 240 per person in 2016 through personalized contacts. No wonder, that more and more people expect something in return for their data.
Besides increasing customers expectations the changing E.U. policy concerning individual data constitutes additional bureaucratic hurdles. E.g. these presuppose that prior to the collection and use of personal data the consent of the customer has to be obtained. Thus, the additional demands placed on companies and marketing are regarded as a risk that restraining some companies from generating primary data.
However, collecting primary data is a must for companies to be successful. More than that, the proactive collection of primary data can also be used as an image-building measure and part of the company’s brand strategy.
The following examples highlight the efforts of major companies taking data mining one step further.
Japanese coffee chain Shiru Cafe, which operates 21 stores worldwide, offers students free drinks to share personal information. They have to go through an online registration process and provide information such as name, date of birth, IT skills, previous internships, and the size of the companies they are looking for. In doing this Shira is very transparent and shares the information gained only with companies interested in hiring these students. Sponsors of the Shiru Cafe include Nissan, Microsoft and JP Morgan, who use organized events to promote and reach potential local employees.
Tommy Hilfinger released a 23-part jeans collection last year that tracks the movements of the wearer. The “Tommy Jeans Xplore” collection is equipped with a special chip technology and keeps track of how often and where the wearer went. Users can download and track the special Tommy Jeans Exploration app, take part in challenges, earn points, get free tickets , product discounts and much more. In terms of privacy, Tommy Hilfinger assures that the chips are encrypted and can be disabled anytime. However, according to the Business Insider website, the company did not reveal how much personal information the company has collected.
Nestlé takes the next step in data-driven personalization. In Japan, Nestlé has launched a program that offers personalized dietary advice and nutritional supplements based on dietary habits, DNA and blood test results. With the “Nestlé Wellness Ambassador”, the company wants to receive the data to bridge the link between DNA, health and nutrition and provide personalized nutrition solutions for billions of health-conscious consumers.
What can be learned by these examples is that generating primary data is not just a great opportunity to develop better, more personalized products and service. It is also a great opportunity to spread and improve the brand`s message in order to create a stronger link between customer and company as well as between customer and products (see Nestlé). To reach this target it is important, however, that the benefits to the customer`s belief outweigh his concerns. If the reward is estimated worth it, customers are even willing to give up control of their data.