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New market for ’empowering’ personal data services “will transform relationships between customers and brands”

Posted on: Thursday 20th of March 2014

A new market has emerged for personal data management services (PDMS) that help individuals assert more control over how their data is collected and used. This market is now growing fast with more than one new launch a week over the last year and it is beginning to transform relationships between customers and brands, says our new research “Mapping the market for personal data management” launched today at our inaugural Personal Information Economy 2014 event.

Traditionally, companies collect data about customers and use this data for their own purposes. But this traditional approach is giving way to new relationships where customers expect to be able to exert more control over their data and to be able to use it for their own purposes. For example, at the event one of Europe’s biggest retailers, Sonae – with the largest loyalty card in Portugal covering virtually the entire population and with over 90% of their transactions associated to the card – announced that they plan to give their data back to their customers via a personal data store.

Further evidence of changing consumer attitudes, and the impact on organisations’ data policies, practices and communications, are highlighted in additional research conducted by GfK and Ctrl-Shift also announced today at the event.  This research shows that consumers:

  • are more willing to share information (+12%) when given explicit assurances about how their data will be used;
  • are much less willing to share information (-34%) when reminded of the dangers and potential abuses of their data; and
  • welcome some degree of personalisation in ads and services but are ‘creeped out’ when personalisation goes too far and becomes intrusive.

Individuals increasingly want to place their relationships with businesses on a new footing, asserting who has access to their data and for what purposes. For organisations, building new partnerships with PDMS can provide a transformational opportunity to respond to this demand, build trust and access more customer data at lower cost. Organisations that fail to respond to this shift risk customers ‘going dark’ on them – withholding data and refusing permission. On the other hand, organisations that develop trusted relationships with customers have the opportunity to differentiate themselves through new data-driven services. Today’s Personal Information Economy event explores the many different ways they can do this.

Colin Strong, Managing Director, Business & Technology, GfK, announcing the consumer research today says, “The research demonstrates how brands need to pay attention to the consumer perspective when dealing with personal data. The view that consumers are passive providers of data no longer holds and brands need to engage with the challenges and opportunities that this represents.”

New data empowering services including personal data stores offer a range of consumer benefits including storing personal data securely, blocking unwanted advertising, managing identity and providing analytics and profiling. Key drivers of the new PDMS market include:

  • technological developments making new types of service possible;
  • policy and legislative developments such as midata* helping to create a conducive environment; and
  • increasing consumer demand for convenience (to ‘do stuff’ with digital data better), added value (to realise the value of their data) and safety (to address growing privacy concerns regarding how personal data is gathered and used).

Ctrl-Shift’s Personal Information Economy 2014 event today is exploring all the hot topics of the personal information economy. We have an “Entrepreneurs’ Showcase” highlighting ten exemplar ‘innovators’ from the UK, Europe and America, including PDMS. The showcase demonstrates the richness, variety, sophistication and potential impact of the new services now in development – many of them already experiencing rapid growth. Contributors today include: Allfiled; Ctrlio; Miicard; Mydex; Nfluence; PAOGA; QoiD; Respect Network; SocialSafe; and Synergetics.

We want to say a big thank you to our event sponsors Manning Gottlieb OMD, a member of Omnicom Media Group and Media Week’s ‘Media Agency of the Year 2013’, and Steria, a leading provider of IT-enabled business services for helping to make today happen.