Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How much information is too much?

I know, I wrote a lot of collecting user information and how our privacy is compromised, but there is another view for this.
As a marketer we need sometimes to know things about the consumer. And as a marketer we don't have always all information we need. As a marketer,I would say, there is no thing as too much.

We did read the last couple of weeks about Apple, Google and Microsoft and that they collected locations from their customers. As a marketer I would like to get this deep information, and as a marketer we love Facebook and the information they collect.

Information it knowledge and knowledge help us marketer to understand how good our marketing is. When we run campaigns we, want to know everything about our consumers. We want to know how old they are, where they live, what their income is etc. All this information helps us to make our products better.

Insight in this even helps to produce products cheaper or to make necessary changes to our products.

There is an Interesting story about a big brand which sold a cold coffee drink in Asia. The sales went up and up. The brand decided to build another plant to produce more of these drinks. But suddenly the sales almost stopped. The company had no idea why and started to research. The reason why the drink did not sell anymore was simple. The people in Asia did not buy the drink because it was so good, they bought it, because the container could serve as a drinking glass. As soon everybody had enough drinking glasses they stopped buying the drink. The company could have saved a lot of money and not build a new plant if they had known it, or maybe could have market only the container without the liquid.

Especially smaller companies are in the need to know a lot of their consumers or potential customer. They might try a new campaign, a QR code in a magazine which links to a website, After four weeks running the campaign, the company wants to know how many people scanned the code, what profession they are and the location of the people.

Standard web analytics will give you the browser type, maybe the device type, an ip address for location. This is not a lot. We want to know the exact place when the scan happened and the age and gender etc of the people who scanned the code. If we see that the average income is over $100k and mostly female, we might in the future run the QR campaign in a woman magazine targeted to higher income women.

Most of the time there are only two ways to get these detailed information, either we ask a company to test this with their known user group or we request the consumer to fill out a form when they navigate to the target website. The latter will scare many users or they are not honest with their answer.
The first method is usually expensive and gives us only la snapshot of the potential users.

A third method would be to analyze the surf behavior of all users to determine (depending on the behavior) what type of users is interested in our products. This is very time consuming and not very reliable if the data mining is done wrong.

But having the data on hand without a survey or form would be golden.

Apple and Co. do have this information, but we as a marketer don't get it from them.

At Facebook we can tailor an ad to a specific group of people like gay men who like to watch football. But FB would not give to us the detailed results after a camping run.

There should be two things happen in the future. The consumer needs to be educated that eventual his data will be stored (and explaining which data) if they decide not to opt out and Apple, Facebook etc. should share all these details with us marketer.

If Apple knows who does what with their cell phones, we, the marketer, should know too.

The more we know about our consumers the better we target our ads, the less the consumer will be annoyed by the ads.

A great conundrum, by giving us the all details we need the less ads we need to run the happier the consumer is, the more money we can spend.

You might know the answer when you go the next time in the store and wonder why the cereal got more expensive.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:E Sheridan Rd,Salt Lake City,United States

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