It’s not big data – it’s intimate data

So many of us are gearing up to collect as much data as we can from our every interaction with consumers and it is true that using this data to create highly personalized products and services is a key component of the Connected Marketing approach. However, we should also consider the nature of that data; not all data is equal in terms of its value but especially in terms of how the individual views it.

The advent of the smartphone and the apps we use has created a wealth of highly personalized data including everything from our location, our diet, our fitness regime, our work patterns, our photographs and more. Once you add to this the data from other connected devices like fitness trackers or wearables you are collecting something much more significant than the standard demographic data that marketers have used for years to segment their markets. The amount and nature of this data is only going to increase with more devices and more sensors becoming part of our lives.

A well as provide more potential data I think that the smartphone has also made individuals think differently about that data. It is no longer ‘data about me’ but ‘my data’. This is partly a consequence of the mobile device being the most personal piece of technology we own. We think differently about it both as a device and a channel, but more significantly in terms of its content.

It will help to think about this, not as big data, but as Kei Shimada of Dentsu describes it “intimate data”. Thinking about it as intimate data is a crucial step to recognizing its value but also the way in which it should be managed with respect. Collecting, storing and using intimate data is not the same as storing a home address and phone number. Knowing how often I run or ride for instance, along with my heart rate data, weight, sleeping patterns and diet is an incredible view of me as an individual. I would not want this data taken and used with my permission or without recognizing its value to me and others (something we will address in the next blog post). On the other hand, sharing this data could allow trusted partners to create incredibly personalized products and services that has much greater significance in my life.

The critical first step for marketers will be to start considering all data as intimate data and treating it accordingly. Brands will need to become trusted partners if they are going to have access to this data.

    Leave Your Comment Here