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July newsletter: A new dimension of marketing competition

Posted on: Friday 27th of July 2012

In this issue we highlight the findings of our study into the impact of new services using Volunteered Personal Information, an insight into developments in the ‘Internet of Things’, and that we looking for someone new to join our team.

Don’t target me…ask me

We’ve just finished some research looking at a group of services that that use Volunteered Personal Information (VPI) to provide relevant content – offers, recommendations and adverts. In our study, sponsored by nFluence Media, three new services, Visual DNA, Dealboard and Hunch, were stacked up against loyalty schemes, global brands like Amazon, Facebook and Google, and a browser based ad network, Bluekai. They were assessed by a panel and we analysed the results against four dimensions: Transparency; Access; Control; and Trust.

Guess what? The services we looked at did better on these measures than more traditional means of serving content – using browsing and buying histories. It led us to suggest the report title – “Don’t target me, ask me”. But perhaps as importantly, the research revealed that making these services engaging and fun had an unexpected bonus – helping the consumer better understand themselves. To read the report click here.

Internet of Things and personal data

An intriguing insight from the recent Technology Strategy Board Internet of Things (IoT) Showcase. At this meeting the ten consortia working on IoT projects (including Ctrl-Shift) came together to share their study findings. There was one hot topic: most data belonging to ‘things’ links back to a person in some form or another. ‘Thing’ data and ‘personal’ data are not different worlds. They overlap, interconnect and much of their value comes from these connections.

That means that age-old personal data issues relating to trust, security and privacy look like being just as important in the IoT as they are elsewhere. We expect this to be one of the key themes addressed later this year as the TSB invests in an IoT demonstrator.

The Respect Network

The announcement by US based Respect Network of the development of the first, global, open standard trust network with two major corporate founders, Neustar and Swisscom, is a key step forward in the emergence of a personal data ecosystem. The network enables customers and companies to connect and share information in either direction with complete confidence and trust in privacy and security. It opens up a new realm of commercial opportunities to realise the value of personal data. Here’s our analysis of the news.

Loyalty in finance

Our research looking at the shifting sands of customer loyalty in retail banks is under way. It’s clearly an issue of growing importance. The British Bankers’ Association has asked us to speak at their Customer Valuation and Data Maximisation conference on September 12 about the implications for banks of the changing customer data environment and how improved information sharing can lead to competitive advantage.

We’re hiring

We are looking for an economist/business modeller to help us on a couple of projects. If you are interested, or know somebody who might be, please get in touch with Alan.

Market news

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that the market for online collaboration is quickly growing with estimates that go as high as $100billion. Our report, commissioned by Consumer Focus, which looks at examples of online collaboration and co-operation and how they are creating a wide range of new ways to create wealth and empower consumers, has just been published.

Analysts suggest Apple could be maneuvering itself into a position to disrupt the credit card industry with the introduction of its Passport application. The mobile payments industry is generally hotting up. Paypal has acquired card.io in an attempt to catch up with Google Wallet and Square has raised new money.

We’ve seen some interesting new services this month. Wallaby Card combines all of your existing credit cards into one card and then routes your transactions based on where you can save more money and earn more rewards. Decision service billmonitor has launched Bill Check-up an extension of their independent comparison service that enables mobile phone users to work out if they are on the best value phone contract. Read our interview with Stelios Koundouros, billmonitor’s Founder, here.

This article sums up some of the issues around use of customer loyalty data in the retail space. It reports on Tesco’s laudable use of customer data to segment customers and provide personalised offers on their website, but warns of retailers overstepping the mark.