Daniel Cantorna, Vice President, Data, Insights and Technology, Asia Pacific, Collinson
In today’s world of choice-rich consumers, the importance of a fair value exchange takes centre stage. Consumers are more aware than ever that their personal data has value, and recent Collinson-commissioned research revealed that businesses are aware of this too.
The research, designed to reveal over 350 Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore-based organisations’ views on the future of loyalty, included the question: “What value does a loyalty programme add to a business?” Respondents ranked what they felt were the top three objectives, with 63% selecting “Extracting customer value” as their first objective.
Consumers who share their information today are entering into a deliberate exchange, and in return, they expect businesses to use their data to create relevant experiences that are personalised and add value.
However, despite consumers willingly sharing their information today, the Collinson research also revealed growing anxiety from brands regarding consumers’ desire to continue sharing data in the future (an issue when cookies are soon to be removed). When asked “What is your view of the future direction of loyalty programmes?”, the second and third most popular responses were: “Increased consumer apathy to loyalty programmes” and “Increased consumer concerns around data issues”.
To change this trajectory, businesses need to do two things in tandem: reward and delight their customers, while respecting their data.
Transparency is Key
To avoid future stalemates between brands and their customers, it’s important to be transparent and honest with regards to the use of data – in addition to ensuring meaningful, bespoke interactions are being delivered, alongside recommendations based on this data. In turn, customers will learn to trust and will be willing to share even more information; ultimately enabling perpetually enhanced brand encounters.
It is a mutually beneficial value exchange that, over time, enables brands to build increasingly richer customer profiles and create better, more relevant experiences. This is the virtuous circle that all brands should aspire to.
There is also an opposite phenomenon – a vicious cycle. If a brand misuses data, is not transparent, does not provide a worthwhile value exchange, or breaches data regulations, they run the risk of their customers mistrusting their brand and withholding their personal details.
To avoid this, leading brands ensure permission to collect and retain data is sought and received, and in turn only use data in the way their customers have permitted. In the context of loyalty, this means providing superior and purposeful experiences (a fair value exchange) that benefit the customer as much as, if not more than, it benefits the provider.