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June newsletter: Harnessing customer data to create customer loyalty

Posted on: Thursday 21st of June 2012

In this newsletter we cover our new report on the identity assurance market, hot off the press this week. We also give you a preview of our forthcoming research on customer loyalty, an update on the recent World Economic Forum Re-thinking Personal Data meeting in London, and close with a smattering of market news.

Ctrl-shift research

Identity assurance. We’ve now published our report on the UK identity assurance market. We think that the path the Government is on, a truly citizen-centric one, could cause serious disruption in the long-term. Even in the short-term the money being put into the Government’s Identity Assurance Programme is set to double the growth in this key area. Our report forecasts that the market looks set to reach £360m by 2014 from today’s £280m with new money and ideas from the Post Office, DWP and HMRC. We are already seeing developments. On June 22 we will be attending a market engagement seminar with HMRC, which is about to announce its third major public sector programme using the new identity assurance processes.

Digital downsides. Consumer Focus has published their report on the potential downsides of the digital age, which we were commissioned to help draft. The aim of the report is to prompt debate on the issues raised and allow work to head off the problems before they become widespread. To read the report and provide comments click here.

Customer loyalty. We’re just kicking off our next major research project – benchmarking how effective retail banks are at harnessing personal data to engender customer loyalty. We’ll be looking specifically at how good they are at engaging their customers through an effective information sharing relationship, what empowerment strategies are being deployed, and what services and technologies are available to support customers’ financial needs. Our aim is to produce a benchmarking tool for companies in the sector. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved or hear more.

Energy sector projects

If you remember last month we highlighted that Scottish Power is on the path to handing data back to customers about their consumption histories. We’re now involved in two projects for the energy regulator, Ofgem, looking at the implications of consumers having more information on their energy usage.

Re-thinking personal data

On June 14 we ran, in association with STL Partners, a very stimulating workshop for 40 specially invited experts from across the personal data landscape. The group met in London to discuss and review the latest outputs from the World Economic Forum’s Re-thinking Personal Data project. There were attendees from the telecoms, retail, financial services, media, advertising, government and technology sectors and it was good to see the debate move into fruitful, practical work. We set about tackling some of the priority issues including how to create and implement the right rules and tools to bring about the emergence of a personal data ecosystem where people are in control of the collection, use, sharing and monetisation of their data. Cross border legal issues were discussed, along with how to apply new approaches to personal data to value chains and business models, and ideas around how to create a universal Personal Data Rights Language.

Re-designing services

At our next Explorers’ Club meeting, which is taking place on July 11, we’ll be discussing how user-centric design can enable businesses to respond to the rise in Volunteered Personal Information. We’ve asked the Design Council, our hosts for the event, to provide their expertise and help stimulate our thinking. For more about Explorers’ Club membership click here.

Market news

The debate about personal data and privacy continues with stories such as that about US data broker Acxiom in the media. According to the The New York Times ‘analysts say it has amassed the world’s largest commercial database on consumers — and that it wants to know much, much more.’  In a recent guest article for Wired magazine Alan Mitchell suggests one answer is personal data stores which could ‘liberate us from a toxic privacy battleground’.

Microsoft’s decision to make the Do Not Track capability the default setting with IE10 has attracted the praise of privacy advocates and the ire of advertisers. In a post analysing the move, our view is that it’s another game changer in the fast moving world of the control shift.

Some entrepreneurial developments include UK start-up GoCardless which has announced an interesting service dubbed ‘bitly for payments’; and US based Junar which has secured $1.2m funding for its open data platform to make open data more useful and meaningful.

We also recently heard from Barclays about their new Pingit service. They’ve amassed nearly one million users in less than three months for a service that has an obvious benefit – the instant transfer of money to someone else. Anyone can use it. All you need is the person’s mobile phone number. You don’t need their bank account details and they don’t need to bank with Barclays. It’s a great innovation designed simply to meet customer need.