Consumers fear big data—but they do so because they don’t understand it. It’s important to show consumers why it benefits them that marketers have their information. We should work to relay this message to consumers: that marketers (us) having consumers’ information can be beneficial to their online experiences. It’s clear how information can benefit the marketers and the companies they represent, but it’s not always evident to the consumer why marketers should have their information. Marketers should lead the battle on clarity. We should be the ones clearing the fog and stigma behind data collection. It benefits all parties when marketers know their consumers’ preferences.
A Luxury Service
As with any luxury service, marketers customize the online experience according to a user’s preference. If you go to your favorite restaurant, you appreciate when the server recalls your drink order. You like that the server is catering to you. Marketing should be the same. Marketers gather information on their consumers and use it to customize ads and search results for particular users, to show users what they want to see. Marketers are redesigning the online experience as a customized, luxury service. Wearing this lens of luxury when viewing marketing helps remove some of the stigma surrounding data collection. Still, many consumers tend to ignore the benefits of gathering marketing information. There are many reasons why collecting information serves the consumer.
A Service Based on Past Experience
Consumers’ experiences should reflect in every ad they see. Marketers want users to see things the users have liked before. It is in the marketer’s best interest to show consumers relevant advertisements. Marketers don’t want to waste their resources or the consumer’s time. When a consumer uses the Internet that user is building and growing his or her online alias. Marketers employ user data to show users things they’ve proven to like.
Basically, users past actions reflect in their current advertisements. Marketers build the online experience around the users’ past actions and preferences. You are the user; you choose what you want to see. You do this by taking actions, and marketers hope to reflect these actions in marketing schemes. But marketers can do better than just remembering past actions and feeding them back to users.
Marketers Can Anticipate Action
With consumer data, marketers can anticipate future actions. They can do this by combining specific information with generalized information. The specific information is that which is specifically associated with a single user, information such as a user’s clicks or actions on ads. General information is conglomerate data based on certain factors, including the average clicks or actions for a certain demographic on ads. If marketers already know that a consumer likes technology and books, then the marketers may be able to anticipate that the consumer would like to see an e-reader.
Combining the specific information (that the individual likes technology and books) with the general information (that people who like both technology and books often also like e-readers), the marketers can anticipate the user’s desires. Marketers not only cater to users based on past actions, but also use consumer information to evoke practical foresight, to anticipate users’ wants.
A great marketer is like a great restaurant server. A great server can combine the information of a customer’s previous orders and the information of what other customers like to order to recommend a dish.
Marketers can customize experiences for users based on past actions and can anticipate future wants, but it may be most important that marketers can show consumers personalized offers based on current situations. This means that marketers can adjust marketing schemes according to a customer’s current circumstances.
A good server can use previous customer information, reasonable anticipation, and circumstantial knowledge to make a great recommendation. The circumstantial knowledge may be the fact that it’s summer or that there are new fresh ingredients.
The good marketer does the same thing. Maybe the consumer is vacationing in a new city; the marketer can then offer rental cars, or hotel rooms. Maybe the consumer is purchasing a new laptop; the marketer can offer laptop cases or other accessories. When marketers adjust to particular circumstances they are using consumer data to make the right offers at the right times.
A Fine-Tuned Experience
Great marketing campaigns constantly adjust to consumers based on individualized and generalized data. It’s important that marketers use past actions, anticipation, and current information in combination to create a personalized user experience. When marketers use a conglomeration of these techniques, they create a fine-tuned, luxury Internet experience. Utilizing consumer information allows marketers to create unique user experiences. It allows marketers to show consumers what they want to see: unique, relevant ads and not lousy, irrelevant ones.