We need a big data reset

October 7, 2020

Consumers want increasingly personalised and better experiences. Brands need more complex data to power those experiences. Consumers are becoming polarised about how and when they’ll hand their data over. And the need for information-sharing in the pandemic has only entrenched data sharing reductants. Welcome to the customer experience conundrum. 

So how best to solve it? 

Embracing radical transparency 

By taking a dramatically more open approach. And by resetting consumers’ understanding and appreciation of data, so that its risks can be mitigated without throwing away its rewards. 

That’s just one solution our client Jed Mole, chief marketing officer at Acxiom, and I discussed during Acxiom’s Big Data Reset Advertising Week session exploring how best to navigate and win in the new data landscape.  

We called upon the industry and brands to make the data value exchange even more explicit with consumers. We need to spell out the clear benefits of handing information over more transparently, explaining more clearly what consumers will receive in return, whether that’s a better price, product, process or experience. 

Future service innovation at risk

If brands, organisations and government don’t meet this clear and present challenge, the future of customer innovation is in jeopardy – just as new technologies are powering ever-more exciting brand opportunities. 

Look at expected and upcoming service innovations in hyper-personalisation, for example. Panasonic and Tascent have partnered to develop biometric scanning concept that can be embedded into seats on aircrafts, enabling streamlined passenger recognition for payments, more responsive entertainment experiences and even in-flight immigration services.   

However, hopes around the implementation of such innovations are based on a premise of not only continued access to current forms of consumer data, but access to the rich new data sets of the future (of which biometrics will be just one of many). 

Seeing beyond current data relationships

As well as being more transparent, tracking the changing nature of their consumers’ relationship with data is crucial for brands who want to thrive in the data ecosystem of tomorrow. 

Some post-Covid consumers will guard their privacy more fiercely while others will continue to embrace the new data-sharing normal. Understanding who your consumers are and forecasting how their data relationship with you will evolve means you can prioritise your efforts accordingly. 

At Foresight Factory, our solutions are focussed on empowering you to identify and act upon that ever-changing demand, invest in the right customer segments and channels and protect against market disruption. 

Are your consumers ‘will’ or ‘will nots’?

And that market disruption could come from the real risk of a two-tiered system in an age of data polarisation. If a minority of consumers remain fundamentally opposed to data sharing, a disjointed future will emerge across those who do and don’t have access to your ever-evolving new brand services. A world of ‘have’ and ‘have not’s, driven by ‘will’ or ‘will not’s. 

Brands who want to bridge that gap will need to start taking their consumers on a shared journey towards a more mutual understanding of the role that data sharing can have in promoting a better future for customers and industry alike. 

For more information on how we help you answer big questions and find future opportunities in your category, find out more about our Futures consultancy here or email me at joshuam@foresightfactory.co


Written by Josh McBain

Josh McBain is Consultancy Director at Foresight Factory. He leads a team of consultants and client analysts who specialize in the design, delivery and communication of strategic consultancy projects. He has a proven track record of producing consultancy projects that have driven commercial growth, created extensive global media buzz and influenced government policy.

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