All data-driven marketing is only as good as the data it relies on. Customer recognition solutions work to identify the customer as an individual, making your marketing more effective by delivering unparalleled, knowledge-based matching across all channels and devices.But in order to deliver value, the first crucial step is getting it right!
Why Do We Need A Value Exchange For Data?
Arguably there is no need for brands to go over and above the call of duty to recognise customers’ generosity when they divulge and freely consent to the use of their data. After all, their data is how they access product in the first place – they cannot receive deliveries without providing an address, names are clearly also useful.
But increasingly, companies with nothing to physically deliver and no obvious reason to address customers by name are seeking these details and more. And more often customers are demanding to know why. Having secured the answer, that their data is what makes brands’ worlds go round, customers are starting to sit up and think, hang on a minute…
Now that customers are aware that their data is what is helping companies turn a profit, many are asking themselves –what’s in it for them? And if the answer is ‘nothing’, they can quickly head for the hills.
Not only that, but now there is the paradox of customers jealously guarding their details but expecting personalised service because ‘that’s just what happens these days’; or complaining if their data turns up somewhere unexpected; or expecting call centres to know exactly where they got stuck in the application form.
There are many hurdles to meeting consumers’ expectations of what brands use their data for before companies can even begin contemplating how a value exchange for data might somehow be used to build a competitive advantage.
So what does good data practice look like? What constitutes value, and ultimately, how does value move us beyond first encounters into creating a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship between brand and customer?
Why the Data Value Exchange is Needed
Customers know that companies use their data. They now also know (to a degree) what can be done with that data, and this has led to certain base-level expectations. Personalisation is one of those. Convenience is another. Not convenience of product or service at this point, but simply convenience of data collection. If it were possible, data collection would all be invisible, happening behind the scenes.
But if physical data collection is needed, it needs to be done as unobtrusively as possible. Even here, there is a data value exchange of sorts – the brand that can deliver personalisation with a minimum of fuss, compared to the brand that delivers it with more difficulty, is already onto a winner.
“There are two aspects to delivering the value exchange through data: the first is being clear about why you are collecting the data in the first place, and what the value is for the customer e.g. better recommendations, relevant offers, faster transactions. The second is to honour that promise, don’t get lazy, don’t waste the customer’s trust.” – Edward Armitage, Ecommerce Director at Waterstones
Finding the Right Data
Tracking the customer journey remains central to many companies’ data plans. By being able to track customers’ purchasing journeys, brands can begin to infer behaviours and preferences without interrupting their individual customer’s’ journey with specific questions about what they are looking for.
Automatically garnered insight can go a long way to developing relevant, targeted communications – without the customer completing exhaustive surveys (although one might argue that ‘Opting-In’ to the use of their data and ‘Accepting Cookies’ constitutes at least one form of survey).
Of course brands must still make sure that their Privacy Policies and Fair Collection Notices are transparent and cover the collection and use of data. But as long as transparency is prioritised throughout the data exchange, productive positive communications and customer relationships should result.