|By Larry Alton||
|April 20, 2017 04:00 PM EDT||
Big Data: The Unrecognized Driving Factor in Consumers' Lives
Big Data is literally everywhere, and consumers interact with it daily. However, it's the marketers who recognize the value of such data and use it to perfect the customer experience.
Consumers, on the other hand, are often oblivious to their contribution to the mass data that marketers and businesses use to design their products and services. They don't realize that their phones actually ping location-based data to nearby retailers. Browsing history, social media shares, online transactions, subscriptions, and other online interactions also provide information that marketers use to know more about their consumers.
Though customers offer data every single day with their online interactions and mobile use, most don't even realize that they're giving away free information that marketers can exploit-and it's changing their lifestyles in so many ways.
Here are some of the most profound.
How We Spend Money
Data reveals patterns about how you spend your money so that marketers can get a better idea of what to send you. Oftentimes, marketing creates subliminal messaging, encouraging more people to shop.
Marketers will monitor your browsing history and get an idea of what you like to shop for. Then they'll send you ultra-targeted advertisements and coupons to incentivize an initial purchase at their store. They're hopeful that if you make a single purchase, you'll become a loyal customer, and their assumption is often correct.
Thanks to data, we also have accurate calculators and other handy price predictors that help shape the way we spend. We can calculate how much our auto loan will cost us so we can prepare for monthly payments or predict the cost of a home so we can start saving up for a down payment.
How Our Privacy Is Affected
For some consumers, knowledge of Big Data collection increases their privacy safeguards. They're worried about people watching them, so they turn off location services, say no to email subscriptions, and refuse to give out personal information on any online platforms.
Others don't know or don't care that their personal information is constantly being analyzed, and they don't take extra precautions. They may even like that marketers send them targeted advertisements or that their email inbox is filled with coupons to their favorite stores based on the information given blindly in the past.
Overall, it leads to a demand for more transparency in marketing practices. Most consumers like to know where their information is going, and when apps and websites explain what they'll do with the information provided, consumers are more likely to trust them.
Howe We Eat and Exercise
Smart devices make our lives easier, but they're also hubs for data collection. There are smart fridges that catalog your food shopping and eating habits, fitness trackers that reveal your dedication to weight loss, and integrated bathroom scales that talk to you about exercising more and eating more healthy.
Every time you use one of these devices, it sends detailed information to their makers and influences the kinds of advertisements and coupons you see while browsing the internet. The advertisements placed in front of you, whether for at-home meal kits or fast food restaurants, will directly impact what you eat and whether or not your exercise.
How We Value Things
Our value sets are also changing based on data. As we become more aware of technologies and advancements that have become popular over the years, we're more likely to accept these value sets at home and make them a bigger part of our lifestyles.
An example of this is smart home tech. Five years ago, the most important features to homebuyers were open concept floor plans, spacious kitchens, and lavish bathrooms. Now, homebuyers have come to value the integration of smart home equipment. Research shows that nearly two thirds of homebuyers would be willing to pay more for a home with smart home technology installed.
Because people have begun to enjoy the use of smart home technology, data tells manufacturers it's what they value most. It changes the technology advancements that are made and defines what we purchase. Our values change accordingly, usually without us realizing it.
Ultimately, data is essential for today's growth and market stability. Marketers rely on the harmless information they collect on a daily basis, and consumers benefit more than they know.
Transparency is a constant battle in the data collection sector, and it's important that consumers know what they're involved in before interacting with businesses. It means marketers will get a better idea of what consumers want, which will result in happier, longer-lasting customers.
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