Big Brother is really watching you…….

What do you know about your customers?  Contrast it with what companies know about you.

Information is not only power, it allows you to make good decisions which benefit your customers.  It also can help you increase your bottom line.

Look at the Tesco Club Card – it alone was credited with a massive sales and margin improvement for that company.  I swear that Tesco know more about my grocery habits than I do.  However, as I now only buy the heavy stuff at the Tesco next door to my work and my wife does most of the rest of the shopping elsewhere, my Tesco Club Card analysis probably shows that I live off beer and cat food.

Look more at Google.  After I’ve been Christmas shopping on the internet this year I will be subjected to reminders on many un-associated websites of other offers for the goods I was originally shopping for.  How do they know this?  Well they will be tracking my computer’s footprint all over the web and analysing it for marketing purposes.  Hint, using the same computer your spouse will probably be then inundated with evidence of your Christmas shopping, so make sure you browse a few sites with presents you want as well!

Think about emails.  When I click on spam or advertising email the sender knows I opened it, they can track if I clicked through to their website, they can even see what pages I visited and for how long.  Why do you think the URL you click though to is so long and complicated, it’s because it is unique.

So what next?  Well the latest possibility is the tracking of us by smartphones.  No, I don’t mean malicious code which uses the GPS to gather mapping data, but I mean through WiFi connections.  When your phone’s WiFi is switched on the phone broadcasts a unique identity address (a MAC address) as it scans for an available network.  There now exists a marketing science of monitoring the progress of these phones, and by association you, as you walk around a public place such as a shopping centre.  At present the MAC addresses are anonymous individuals.  However, if you log into one of these free WiFi points then you can expect your identity and phone’s unique ID number to be harvested.  No doubt it will then be shared with other companies.  Give it under a year and I have no doubt that any public place offering free WiFi would be able to identify you and your meanderings around the shops in moments.  Don’t be surprised if you then get a text or email with a special offer in that shop you are just approaching!

Techno-fear?  You just have to get over it I’m afraid.

And the moral is – don’t be put off.  You don’t have to be an internet pioneer to do this.  The simplest data analytics can help your company improve its service and results.  Speak to your Barnes Roffe partner today to discuss what more you might achieve.

Talk to Barnes Roffe today
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