Customer data the gold dust of digital

It’s been a busy start to 2011 in digital with many brands pushing online and particularly social as the UK’s economic hangover lingers on. Brands looking to increase their presence in the digital space are coming under increased threat from fraudsters and scrutiny from consumers.

As I explored back in February, some brands are faring well in the brave, wild social space, whilst others are leaving their customer data high and dry, for all to see.

March’s story of Tesco selling their shoppers’ Clubcard data for research and analysis should surprise few who have given the commercial purpose of the Clubcard much thought. However, the national coverage of the behind the scenes workings of the nation’s favourite loyalty scheme brings to the fore the less public, even hidden, machine that powers the perfectly pitched promos and ‘BOGOFs’ at your local Tesco store.

In the grand scheme that all that Tesco now provides, the Daily Mail article is a speed bump along a path with which the brand can overcome. However, the lesson to be learnt for the rest of us is that, whatever your size, customers and their privacy, if entrusted to you, must be protected and never exploited. You are the guardian of their habits, preferences and indulgences: your discretion will ensure a trusted, long-term relationship.

Take heed, the value of your customer data is something to be treasured. It seems that 2011 is the year of monthly retail horror stories, do not become part of the neverending Scream franchise.

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