There’s nothing particularly revelatory in the Netflix production The Social Dilemma, but the film does shine a light on big tech’s pervasive presence and the impact on people’s lives.
“There’s an underlying cultural backlash to this,” says Gerry Murray, Research Director, Marketing and Sales Technology for IDC, “so brands are starting to differentiate themselves by actively managing the data relationship they have with their customers. Operationally, we are going to move from an ownership mentality to a stewardship mentality.”
Murray joined ITWC President Fawn Annan for an installment of CMO Talks, a podcast series presented by ITWC and IDC to address pressing marketing challenges. A frequent speaker on how modern marketers can maximize their performance, Murray shared his thoughts on the Data Promoter Score (DPS), a new tool that focuses on brand equity and buyer behaviour instead of on customer satisfaction.
An Extension of NPS
Not to be confused with NPS, a score used commonly by marketers to gauge customer experience, the Data Promoter Score asks customers if they would recommend to others that they share their data with a particular company. “There are variations on a theme,” said Murray, “but that’s the basic idea. The value is in having brands assess where in the data collection process customers feel comfortable and where they feel a little more suspicious or less trusting of the brand.”
According to Murray, the traditional business model applied to customer data is essentially to grab everything you can possibly grab and merge it all together to drive decision making and present the customer with personalized, clickable offers. The problem, he said, is that customers are increasingly distrustful of the necessity for these data grabs.
Paying Attention to Trust
In speaking with Fawn Annan, Murray explained a multi-level process for building or restoring customer trust, including:
- Being more explanatory about the reasons for collecting certain kinds of data
- Giving customers more control over how data is used and how long it can be kept
- Promoting a better understanding of customer relationships in terms of collecting and utilizing data
- Creating governance policies
The 6th P
It may sound like an expensive, time consuming process for brands, but it’s one that can be leveraged back to the customer as a differentiator. Murray referenced the 5 P’s, a blueprint for marketing through the lens of people, product, price, promotion, and place. “Privacy is becoming the sixth P,” he said.
In Murray’s opinion, there’s a powerful advantage for brands that involve customers in a process that serves them better instead of just grabbing as much data as they can from their customers’ phones. “It’s becoming increasingly apparent to customers, which brands are on which side of the spectrum,” he said. “Unless you’re a monopoly or in some kind of rare, single-source position in the marketplace, customers are going to prefer brands that steward their data.”
An Opportunity to Stand Out
In answer to a question posed by Annan about creating a customer data promoter practices strategy, Murray stressed the importance of proceeding carefully. “Once brands get themselves sorted out with respect to getting through 2020 and getting the economy back on its feet, this is the kind of thing that will separate the leading brand managers and marketers and CMOs from everybody else who just wants to go with a standard operating procedure with respect to customer data,” he said. “We know more about more people than at any other time in human history, but knowing everything about everyone all the time is not necessarily the Nirvana it’s cracked up to be.”