So now you are listening with both ears. Your dialog is giving you all kinds of valuable information. Beyond that, you’re using the Internet as what John McCarthy of Forrester Research calls a super-recorder. He tells us, “In the virtual world we can track everywhere you go. With wireless, companies not only know where someone surfs on the Web, they know where he walks around and uses his cell phone and PDA. So you have another pool of data that can be potentially abused.”
Now it’s time to remember that you promised your customer you would use this information to help her manage your relationship. It will be critical for you to make the customer part of the information gathering and dissemination process, which brings us to the matters of privacy and permission.
We have to accept the fact that privacy is a growing customer concern. Warnings of consumers’ concern about how businesses use and share their information abound. Richard Barlow, president of Frequency Marketing, puts it well: “One man’s relevance is another man’s intrusion. Big Brother has arrived—with a grin and a fist full of coupons—and many customers are less than overjoyed.”
Brett Anderson, “Privacy Protection In a Wireless World,” The Insider, June 20, 2001, p. 22.
Richard Barlow, “Loyalty Marketing: Six Trends to Watch in 2002,” the-dma.org, January 9, 2002, p. 5.