Getting more insight into ourselves by gathering our personal data together in one place has always been a key part of the digi.me vision, and increasingly more industries are seeing the benefit in doing this too.
Take health and financial information – arguably the most intimate and private data about ourselves – but which informs what, where and how we live – and are able to live – our lives to a much higher degree than other datasets we create on or offline.
Services, such as digi.me, which are able to keep that information wholly private (we never see, hold or touch any data in our app) UNLESS the user can see some kind of benefit in exchanging it for personal value or reward are poised to reap the benefits of both customer engagement and retention.
Tailored services, personalised to you or helping you make financial or health decisions quickly and easily based on the data already known about you, have huge potential – we will be adding health and financial data into our app later this year for applications such as these, and businesses will be able to request permission to access your data if they make an offer in return that you are happy with.
So it was very interesting to read the excellent article by Christopher Evans, director at Collinson Group, titled ‘My data’s worth it – privacy versus personalisation’, which expounded on just these themes.
As he points out, social media and the digital revolution has produced customers who now expect services in real time, at the same time as having a greater awareness of the worth of their data. The increasing number of datasets held by institutions such as banks and credit card companies, for example, are ripe for personalisation as they cover behaviours, interests and motivations in many sectors – and never more so than when information from multiple financial sources is pulled together and normalised for comparison all in one place.
But as he points out, this knowledge alone is not enough: “The essence of a strong value exchange relationship between a business and its customer is one where the customer feels the benefits received are directly proportional to the data they have shared. A more personalised service is regarded as highly valued by consumers overwhelmed by generic communications and offers.
“According to a Collinson Group survey of retail banking executives in 2014, developing a better understanding of customer lifetime value, and improving the use of customer data and insight actually ranked higher than investing in digital and mobile services, and further investment in branch infrastructure.
As he acknowledges, unease over data security remains an issue, with consumers aware of big data breaches such as TalkTalk and Ashley Madison and keen not to be caught up.
But, more and more, customers understand the value of their data, and want to be compensated when it is used, not just when it is lost.
The net result, he writes, is that: “Brands must place the customer at the heart of their business models. The future of loyalty and customer engagement is about so much more than simply adding a few more enhancements to pre-existing rewards programmes.
“The rapidly evolving relationship between brands and customers, the emergence of digital disrupters and developments in the regulatory environment mean that stasis is not an option.”
Ultimately, he said: “In a world where data and the permission to make use of it, will separate the winners from the also-rans, striking the right balance between customer intimacy, and respect for privacy will become a key competency.”
We couldn’t agree more, and given that more than 250 million people around the world are now using ad blockers to stop advertisers and tracking companies from getting their information for free, we’re very far from alone.
Digi.me is striving for a more private world where individuals are put back in control of their personal data, and then able to hold it in one place for maximum personal insight as well as the ability to exchange it for personalised services.
A greater acceptance of the need for the privacy/intimacy balance generally to be more refined, in all industries and sectors, can only benefit each of us – and that more private, controlled world we all seek.