Culture May Help Explain Which Customers Will Mind If Their Data is Being Collected

Marketers love data in whatever way they can collect it. Whether it is data from customers’ website visits or information recorded on a fitness watch or GPS data obtained with the help of customers’ smartphones, marketers will certainly try to capture it. The amount of data collection taking place is massive and, as we discussed in March, is leading to a rapidly growing demand for people skilled in managing data analytics.

While marketing organizations love big data, customers, on the other hand, are often not so keen on what they believe is being collected about them. Their chief concerns almost always revolve around privacy issues. However, while customers may not like how and what is being collected about them, a marketer should not assume consumers are totally opposed to data collection.

For instance, as discussed in this Harvard Business Review story, companies may find their customers are much more accepting of the data that is being collected if the marketer is open about their collection activity, especially for data customers feel is the most value to them. The story suggests the value-of-data question is cultural and may depend on the country in which customers reside. This means the openness marketers share about their data collection methods will depend on the type of information customers find most valuable, which may vary by country.

In addition to offering marketers suggestions for when they should focus on improving the openness of data, the story also provides several good research statistics including how customers view the trustworthiness of different industries when it comes to their personal data. It also presents information on how few customers really understand the ways data is being collected about them.

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