It is well-understood at this point that even basic personalization, like using customers' individual names, can substantially increase open and response rates for physical and digital mail.
"The pursuit of data is really the pursuit of relevant communications," says Dan Kohn, vice president of corporate marketing at Pitney Bowes, which recently conducted a survey of consumers in France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and their feelings about the collection of personal information.
Kohn says that the Pitney Bowes survey found that consumers are aware of the value of their data, and they also value their privacy.
That study concluded that, at best, consumers view such communications as pushy.
In extreme cases, customers feel threatened that companies know so much about them.
Also, a recent McCann Worldwide Group report found that 56 percent of respondents said that when they consider sharing data with a company, a commitment from that company to not share personal information with a third party was of critical importance.
Kohn says that successful marketers must recognize appropriately requesting data and applying it to make customers feel valued is a balancing act.
Inappropriately requesting too much information or applying information in ways not connected to your message can give consumers an uneasy feeling about your brand.
The Pitney Bowes survey found that only 10 percent of respondents were unwilling to share their date of birth, 13 percent were unwilling to share their postal address, 14 percent were unwilling to share their email address and 22 percent were unwilling to share their bank details.
Of these intimate data, consumers are most free with their sexual preferences: only 45 percent of consumers are unwilling to share their sexual preferences.
Political persuasion is the most closely held data: Fully 76 percent of consumers are unwilling to share information about their politics.
"Every marketer must begin with full compliance with all security and privacy regulations in his or her country," Kohn says.
Consumers are looking for a two-way, value-creating conversation, not just an offer."
When it comes to collecting and leveraging Big Data for customer communications, Kohn recommends the following data management steps: "Ensure compliance with all local and federal data regulations and keep up with current legislation.
Automated Summary from: CIO.com