When I started in the business world a growing concern was how the business affected the world. Was it green? Was it treating people equally?
During the last couple of decades this sense of purpose in the world and doing good in the world, has been joined with the concept of CSR and looking at how businesses support their local community as well.
However, this magnification of the business has taken a further step forward.
In an era of big data companies need to be aware that their role is now under scrutiny as to how the business is dealing with me as an individual.
This can be seen as a challenge, yet when you think about it.....it makes sense.
As a business we have the wonder of knowing so much about our consumer's and potential consumer's. More than we have ever known, more power than we have ever had to personlise our brand and our customer experience's.
Personal data is sacred and therefore there is a business opportunity for companies that embrace the concept of trust, transparability and responsibility.
If as a business you recognise your responsibility and make it transparent what you collect, of how you use it and why you use it....then two things happen.
- If you adhere to strict guidelines and principles then the consumer will feel safer and often improve their brand loyalty.
- Think about the huge effect internally on culture. If you see the personal element of the data, you are putting the customer and the customer experience at the heart of your brand, then you are showing your brand personality to internal "customer's" as well as the external customer's.
People love social networking, they love the access to choice but they are afraid of their internet security. As with Maslow's hierarchy of needs shows....people basic needs are vital to be satisfied.
So...I would never argue against big data per se, but I would say it is the how it is expressed and deployed.
By openingly showing you collect data...you breed trust
By explaining why...you breed trust.
By taking security of that data as a solemn duty of care...you show your imperative of putting the customer first....
Don't be afraid to be open, openness leads to trust but do all you can to ensure that the trust is NEVER broken.