There should be no such thing as ‘Data Entitlement’

/ 23 June 2020

A Harvard Business Review (HBR) article I read the other day referred to “a dangerous mindset of data entitlement.” The term stayed with me. It’s an eloquent way of referring to the all too familiar practice of collecting and using information with little regard from those that ‘lent’ it in the first place.

But that’s got to change. Not just because consumers increasingly recognise the value of the data they provide and because legislation is forcing the issue, but because data that is earned – through genuine value exchange – is often far more useful.

READ: New ‘How to Align Data Collection with Customer Engagement’ Report

Tech giants have incredible levels of access to our online movements and activities, and inferences are made based on our activity. But it’s actually quite difficult to understand our behaviour without context. Take a look at the profile Google that has predicted for you: head to the Google account homepage by clicking the widget in the top right corner of any Google site. Click through to “Privacy & personalisation” and then “Manage your data & personalisation”.  The profile Google has predicted for you is under “Ad personalization.”

Does the profile represent you as a person? Does it reflect your true motivations? Your behaviours? You?

We believe ‘Earned data’, obtained through transparent value exchange, is far more powerful. Brands don’t need to know everything about consumers, nor do consumers want them to know everything. But when there is good reason and genuine value to be gained, consumers do volunteer their information.  

How do we enable that? Powerful game and motivational mechanics and genuine value exchange, powered by our Voco platform.

An example recently covered in The.Customer, is how we helped restaurant chain Zizzi build stronger brand loyalty, increase customer retention and improve engagement by a multiple of 32. Using a virtual board game that rewards players with in-game and external prizes in the form of vouchers to be redeemed in store, important information such as dietary requirements and preferences are earned, which helps the chain target. At the same time, it also genuinely improves the experience of the diner and data is gathered in a fun and interactive way. The approach has increased engagement frequency and is especially effective at driving traffic to Zizzi locations at off-peak hours, helping revenue growth during the least profitable hours and times of the year. 

It’s the quality of the data that counts, not the volume.

Data has famously been described as the ‘new oil’, but behavioural science expert Richard Shotton says ‘salt’ is perhaps a more apt analogy. Salt has been highly desirable but in short supply for most of our history but now that there is such an abundance, it actually threatens our health! 

Data then, once a precious marketing commodity, is now in oversupply and we must think carefully.

“We shouldn’t harness data just because we can, instead as much time should be spent on choosing which data sets to ignore as which to use,” says Shotton in his book ‘The Choice Factory’.

The HBR article recommended celebrating when less data was used, saying “if an engineering or customer service team has not accessed personal data in weeks, yet still managed to get its work done effectively, acknowledge their accomplishment and make it a rallying point for the organization.” This of course focuses on the ethical reasons for using as little personal data as possible, but I’d also suggest that less (but greater quality) data usage can not only be just as effective, but far more so. 

DOWNLOAD: ‘How to Align Data Collection with Customer Engagement’ Report

This article was originally published at DMCNY

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