What does "dirty data" mean for our industry?

Posted: 8.10.2018

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Authenticity is the new currency with consumers. Authenticity in caring for the local community, in caring an assortment catered to their returning and potential customers, in service with a smile. If you're asking yourself, "what do I do to seem more authentic," you've already lost. According to new research at Freedman International, more and more consumers are searching for the "analog antidote" to the fake news (and marketing "spin"), intrusive tracking and data harvesting, and isolation of the online world.

Far from arguing one side being "better" than another, the research suggest a HEALTHY BALANCE between technology and people in everyday life. The term "dirty data" derives from those marketers trying to glean all customer knowledge and insight from a cold database, rather than looking up from their spreadsheets and actually engaging with the customers they claim to "understand."

In point of fact, there are 2 key trends trends now emerging, where customer-scepticism of company authenticity is actually being worsened by marketers' insistance of a "tech-first, people-later" approach:

1. Personal data has become a "ticking time bomb." Like in the EU, at least 11 US states have introduced dozens of privacy bills that seek to address data collection consent, usage disclosures, and more. It's simply a matter of time until "passive data collection" is a buzzword of the past.

2. Most marketing data has become old, stale, and useless. It goes into your database, and sits. Forever. At the bginning of online database-creation and "big data," the conventional thinking was to simply hold onto everything. These days, we know better. Most of this data is at best, out-of-date, and at worst, risky to hold (given the above).

The combination of ACTIVE consumer rejection of current techniques and the limited use of the data so-far collected spells out a coming change.

The days of serupticionsly tracking customer behavior are coming to an end, no matter how "shiny" the object may be to marketers looking for a quick short-cut to customer insight. The truth is, just like all human relationships, customer knowledge requires an AUTHENTIC DESIRE TO LISTEN AND LEARN.

But how do you teach that? We can show you.