Friday, 9 October 2009

Information = power?

Many organisations today are actually very good when it comes to targeting their marketing information at you and me. Much of what drops through the door is now a product of careful computer-run analyses and increasingly relevant to the recipient. In the future there will be scope for organisations to do this analysis in real time when the customer presents themselves. In the same way, consumers will not need to price-compare the night before they go shopping next day. Instead the consumer will also be able to do an analysis of the product they are interested in, in real time in front of the shop assistant. The richness of the dialogue between customer and sales person will need to be much more to negotiate the deal. These are just a couple of ways that information will result in a different power balance between those who are taking part in retail transactions.

In addition the shop may know when a customer with one of their loyalty cards is passing near the store in a particular mall. And likewise, the customer may be notified when in the mall of special deals on items they have bought before they enter a particular shop. So presence and location will also be important information.

Some information that is available is currently held by third parties will be available to the rightful owners. At the moment your doctor probably holds your health records, although in theory you might argue that they are your personal property. The ownership of new information, not currently available to people may be especially tricky to assign.

The way we regard, share, assign ownership to, and use information in the future will be crucial. And privacy is another story completely!

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