How would you feel if you found out that your date was tracking where you go, what you do, and was found going through your credit card statements? You may feel that you are being STALKED. Shouldn’t your date simply pay attention to you and get to know you?

Many brands do the same thing and buy every data point that is available on their customers and analyze it to better “target their customers.” To build a long-term relationship, brands should be able to say yes to the following three questions:

  1. Is the TRUE PURPOSE of data gathering to benefit your customers? When Amazon studies customers’ buying patterns and recommends what they would really like, it makes customers feel that the data gathering is “all about them.” The same way when customers share their name and information, and you use it to recognize and reward them, it makes them feel special.
  2. Is your data TRULY PREDICTIVE? The behavior data of your customers away from your store may or may not be indicative of their behavior with your brand.
  3. Is your data gathered with FULL KNOWLEDGE and TOTAL CONSENT of the customer? These are essential to building and maintaining trust.

Only Purpose of Customer Data:

  1. To know your customers
  2. To know what they want
  3. To offer a better experience

A Story: Why Would You Send Me A Bra On My Birthday?

When my daughter was 13, I went through something that every dad is afraid of experiencing. A lingerie brand sent me an offer for a free bra on my birthday. My daughter opened the envelope and immediately we both were totally embarrassed.

How did it happen? I realized that when I took my daughter to the store, she used my credit card to pay. The brand must have harnessed my credit card data to get more information about me and chose to smart-market to me. Then, they invited themselves to my birthday celebration by sending me the gift of a free bra.

What did they miss? They should have known that a sizable percentage of teens rely on their dads to drive them to the store and use dad’s credit card. Hence for teen products, the payee and the buyer may not always be the same. They could have done a simple data validity check to find out what names are primarily male names as that would have avoided the big mistake.

It has been 12 years and I still have not forgotten the embarrassing moment.

3 Questions About Your Customer Data:

  1. Is the TRUE PURPOSE of data gathering to benefit your customers?
  2. Is your data TRULY PREDICTIVE?
  3. Is your data gathered with FULL KNOWLEDGE and TOTAL CONSENT of the customer?

 

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