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Perspective: Consumers’ Willingness to Trade on the Value of Their Personal Info is Key

There’s no “free ride” in personalization. Consumers won’t reveal personal information without receiving something of equal or greater value back from an organization. While today these value exchanges are largely transactional and within the context of the organization’s industry, personalization has the potential to become a bridging strategy that leverages personal relevance to extend brands and solutions beyond their traditional boundaries – for example, a mobile wallet might extend its value beyond payments to become an identity authenticator.

Innovation Exchange members share their thoughts:

“Here are three rules for collecting and using data for personalization: one, disclosure – you’re very clear you’re doing it. Two, control – people can opt-in, opt-out, and change their minds at any time, and must give their permission for you to share the data. And three, visible benefits for consumers, you clearly deliver something the person values in return.”
Eckart Walther, Chief Executive Officer, CardSpring

“By contrast, good experiences lead to increasing permissions. If I give something of me or my preferences or interests, and I get back something that’s better, of higher value, a faster service, a cheaper price, whatever it might be, then people will give more of themselves. Social networking is quickly accelerating that trend. I think everything is rooted in delivering something more special to the person who’s shared data, and delivering it within the context that you received the data. For example, I’m willing to share my location data with Target within certain purchasing or social contexts but I don’t want Target tracking that I went to the movies or the airport. I’m okay if Target knows when I walk in their store, and so pushes to me five things in stock that I’d be interested in, based on what I’ve bought before or have shared on a social shopping site. But I don’t want to hear from Target when I’m on vacation, unless I’ve explicitly given Target permission to look at me in that context.”
Larry Drury, Chief Marketing Officer, First Data

“I think we have been wringing our hands over the wrong question. The issue isn’t privacy. The issue is protection. Whatever the opinion surveys show, the behaviors show that people share information. They generally do not read privacy policies – even attorneys don’t read privacy policies. Customers give up information about themselves with little hesitation, and then they hope for the best. It’s only after something goes wrong that there is a clamor and an outrage. So at the end of the day, it’s mostly about protection.”
Melody Roberts, Senior Director, Consumer Experience Design Innovation, McDonald’s

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