Data Value & Perception
The Wider Value of Data
A savvy marketer understands that the more information they have about their audience as individuals, the better they can engage them and convert them into paying customers. And data itself can have significant, stand-alone value – you don’t have to sell it to a third party to make money from it.
For instance, imagine a company that sells wine tasting tours to South America, mainly to a slightly older demographic with some expendable income and a desire to travel slightly further afield. The company has been approached by a popular travel blog selling advertising on their site. Which of these two scenarios is a more appealing pitch?
1. We are one of the most popular travel blogs in the UK. Every month we get around 120,000 visits to our website from all around the country. For £x you can advertise on our website home page…
2. We are one of the most popular travel blogs in the UK, with over 75,000 subscribed users. Every month we get around 120,000 visitors to our website from all over the country, and increase our subscriber levels by between 3-5%. Our traffic analysis shows that our average home page advertising banners have a 1-2% click through rate, meaning you can expect between 1,200-2,400 visitors per month from our site. Based on our subscriber analysis, 34% of our website visitors are users in the 45-60 age bracket, and 23% of these have visited South America in the past. That amounts to a minimum of 9,384 visitors people per month who would have a direct interest in your core service. We also ran a competition called “Wines of the World” last month and received 15,000 entries, 6,500 of which were from the 45-60 demographic.
For £x you can advertise on our homepage, on which 77% of our traffic arrives.
OK, I know both of these are very simplified examples, but you can see the added value that just a bit of extra data provides in this situation. In fact, ‘£x’ could probably be significantly higher for the second example as a marketer could quite realistically predict a return on their investment before signing up.
So we recognise that the more data we get from our audience, the better – so how do we get them to part with it?
There has been a wealth of recent recent research into the public perception of data sharing, with one of the most interesting pieces by cross-party think-tank Demos in their study ‘The Data Dialogue’. They found that although the public attitude to sharing is very varied, even within specific demographic groups, most people fit into one of five categories:
- Non Sharers (30%) – Knowledgeable about data sharing; view their data as personal, and take measures to protect it
- Sceptics (22%) – Use online services less than than non-sharers; not sure whether they trust other bodies with their data; will share if they see clear benefits and can retain control over their data
- Pragmatists (20%) – Not as knowledgeable/interested in data as non-sharers; small measures of protection; prioritise efficiency over privacy
- Value Hunters (19%) – Understand best the value of their data; not overly concerned with risk; happy to share, but want the most in return
- Enthusiastic Sharers (8%) – View their data as largely impersonal therefore very comfortable sharing it
It seems there is a public crisis of confidence in data sharing born mainly from a lack of understanding, an absence of clear information, and the increasing number of “data horror stories” reported in the media, but roughly speaking the message is clear. The attributes that encourage sharing from the majority of the above groups are:
- Confidence in the security of their data
- Perception of trustworthiness of the organisation with which they are sharing
- Clarity about why their data is required
- Reward for sharing their data – this can a wide variety of forms
- Reassurance about how their data will be used
- Control of what they share
- As they are likely already engaged with the organisation, it is important that the approach to data is in line with the brand values
- Choice and escape options, allowing them to limit and take back their data in the future
How has data collection changed for you in the past few years? How do you leverage your ‘data value’? And which data sharing group do you fit into? Please feel free to contact me on Twitter to share your thoughts.
Also, keep a look out for my follow on article about how some big brands have taken innovative and successful steps to encourage their audience to share data.
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