In a recent article on the American Marketing Association's blog, our CMO Paul Neto wrote about "The Case for Sharing Data: Consumers, Quality and Better Brand Decisions." In the piece, he argues that companies should shift their thinking around data ownership, giving consumers more control over how and when their data is used. Under current models "data that could be used productively by many at a low social cost are used only by one and society is made poorer." Putting control back in the hands of the consumers is a solution.
"If we can instead implement policies and systems that allow consumers to retain ownership and control of their data, we can bring about a data economy that is close to optimal." This means that consumers can be part of the decision-making process surrounding privacy, as well as garnering appropriate compensation for the use of their information.
This kind of approach can also solve some of the ongoing issues surrounding data quality, long (and increasingly) bemoaned in the marketing and market research spaces. As brands require more and more consumer data to make business decisions, it is "ever more important to support an ecosystem that facilitates the best possible set of motivations to achieve data of the highest possible quality." If we ignore consumer's best interests, we are setting ourselves up to fail in a marketplace, economy and social structure where consumers are demanding more control and power. He says, "Facilitating an ecosystem of consumer-first approaches by design, transparency, accountability and trust — while compensating users fairly — sets the fundamentals for achieving our goals."
Blockchain can help move us in this direction to facilitate the network and infrastructure to form a marketplace.
"On one side of the market are individuals who contribute data by completing surveys and other data-generating tasks or by providing access to existing data sources such as health and location data. On the other side are data buyers, such as research organizations and advertisers. Between them are software and a public blockchain that allows buyers to interact directly with individuals in a way that protects the privacy of the individual, incentivizes accuracy, enforces a fair compensation model and provides transparency around data usage and payment."
As more data becomes available - both passive and direct - brands and marketers must use this data in meaningful ways to make decisions. But the landscape is shifting and we must change the way we approach data collection, allowing consumers to share data equitably.
Read the full article on the American Marketing Association blog.