Technology that is allowing people to share details of their everyday life, in ways never imagined a few decades ago, presents brands with a huge opportunity – if they’re brave enough to let customers access their data.
The advent of social media is enabling more of us to share with the world our thoughts in an instant. Whether, it be our views of the panel on this week’s BBC Question Time or what we had for breakfast, within a few clicks we can update our network of friends and followers though sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Inspired by a recent Marketing magazine article, discussing the importance of personal informatics (information that companies hold about each of their customers), I have been considering the potential this new form of open society offers brands.
By allowing customers greater access to the information recorded about their transactions, data such as previous purchases, brands will be able to develop more meaningful relationships.
I work in marketing for a local network of gyms and I see huge potential in developing this concept. Systems such as Technogym’s Wellness system allow fitness club members to have a personal training programme set up electronically.
Theoretically, it shouldn’t be too difficult for clubs to record members’ training patterns each visit and share this with their clients via online personal accounts. I imagine gym users would be hugely motivated if they could accurately and easily track their progress, producing stats and graphics illustrating how many calories they’ve burned each visit or the number of miles they’ve covered.
A branded widget device, added to sites like Facebook, Blogger, WordPress, etc., would enable gym users to update their fitness status without thinking about it, further motivating them and subtly increase awareness of the gym.
The development of a more open dialogue between brands and their customers, sharing personal informatics, has the potential to add value to the core product and deepen understanding – ultimately resulting in a more meaningful relationship that will drive loyalty.