When Data Collection Gets Creepy: Transparency in the Age of Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing and data collection are two hot-button topics in the marketing world because of the kinds of value businesses and their consumers can see if they implement both successfully.
WHAT IS IT?
Omnichannel marketing involves creating a seamless, impactful customer experience by strategically moving customers along the funnel at various communication touchpoints. Data collection helps bring a more holistic approach to this strategy development by providing the facts and trends surrounding consumer behavior patterns.
BIG DATA TODAY
Most consumers these days understand that data is being collected about their online behaviors which are most of the time to their benefit. Businesses can use this data to craft more relevant omnichannel communications, better tailor their services to their audiences, and even begin to forecast what consumer needs may be. With data collected through this omnichannel experience, companies can learn how to make consumers' lives and decision-making easier, more entertaining, and save them money.
On the other hand, data collection can get creepy when, without ever telling a company your address, sexual orientation, or race, for example, your anonymous data can place you in a category about who you are emotionally and psychologically, and be used for much more than advertising.
TRANSPARENCY IS KEY
So in the age of skepticism around data collection, how can businesses reassure their customers that they only mean to improve the services and communications they receive through their omnichannel strategies? The answer is transparency.
While there is much progress to be made among larger organizations like Facebook and Google about how they communicate their privacy policies, businesses can quell consumer anxieties by offering value in return to the consumer. This can come in the form of education on how their data is being used, both current and future use, giving them options on what data is being collected to regain a sense of control, and delivering in-kind value, such as loyalty rewards or other perks.
At the end of the day, trust is essential to building consumer loyalty and should be accounted into every omnichannel marketing strategy that is built on data collection because of how essential it is to minimizing greater risk for the company. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and consumers are warier than ever about the brands they do business with. In this case, it will be easier to ask for permission than to ask for forgiveness - once your consumers find you untrustworthy or, worse, creepy, it’ll be hard to turn them back.
Check out my article, “Balancing the Art and Science of Marketing in Miami,” to learn how small businesses and organizations in my hometown are using a careful balance of data in marketing to make stronger business decisions.
Genesis Cosme is a graphic designer and digital marketer based in Miami, Florida. She helps small businesses and startups find their creativity to compete amongst giants. Contact Genesis.