We are seeing ever-increasing examples of bad practices and/or data breaches, with the Information Commissioners Office handing out more fines, countries arguing over data scraping, and concerns about data privacy. High profile examples of this include America’s views on TikTok and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Consumers are starting to take notice of how valuable their data really is and how it needs to be protected, secured, and used properly.
Consumers are also demanding personalised services, with a virtual assistant to help them navigate the online world and pick items that are tailored to their needs. But there is a fine line between that virtual assistant and creepy tracking – we have all had examples of thinking about a product or service and suddenly seeing it appear in an advertisement bar when we do not even remember asking for it. Building a trusted data relationship is key. You must be open and honest about how you use your customers’ data and what value they will receive.
Historically, consumers have been fickle with data breaches because their data footprints were smaller than they are now. Some businesses, such as TalkTalk, would take a hit on a data breach and then be able to recover. But those days are long gone – data protection and security are now big business. If you haven’t got your customers’ consent or trust then the data you own will have little value in the long run and you run the risk of being heavily fined.
Understanding the value exchange
Businesses now look to create and build data strategies that include an open and honest relationship with their customers in terms of what they get out of the data exchange. As in any good business, everyone needs to be a winner. This means building multiple streams to support those who want personalised services and are willing to give over that valuable data, as well as those who do not want to share their data and just want good generic service.
As we live in a world where data gives businesses that important advantage, data privacy and consumer consent become key to building a brand that lasts with valuable consumer trust. We must also be mindful that as the world evolves, so too does the marketplace, and the consumer’s needs will change accordingly; this is where data assets should bear their ripest fruit.