Friday, December 27, 2013

Hospitality Marketers and their Data

Coming to realize the concerns of a B2C marketer, data companies like us realize the complexity of tracking targets. Favorite cuisines, ambiance preferences, locations, and work and travel behavior... wooh! that's a lot of information when it is not a business concern, and individuals only.

However, we are talking about something a little more penetrative, realizing that it could be controversial at the same time. Do you remember restaurants requesting your information at the end of a meal, and you just end up leaving your office name or address at the bottom of the review.

That leaves the scope for a hospitality or restaurant marketer to find out information about your colleagues - at least the ones who share a similar taste in food. We embarked upon some brainstorming last week to figure out if the complexity could be lowered at some level in the process of data-driven marketing in the B2C sphere.

While collecting information from prospects and customers, restaurant and hospitality marketers fumble, miss out on many chances, and end up investing too much time and effort for very little in return. Yes, one might get lucky to strike a meal deal with a corporate house, but that itself could get a restaurant fettered with contractual statutes.

The game is about targeting correctly. And that requires a subtle approach.

At Procure Data, we have been contemplating how to change the game for the B2C segment around hospitality, retail, etc. Information collected about a person's taste in food is not the only factor that can help you. It's more about catching the information correctly, transporting it to the right people, and ensuring that the use of that information is perceptive.

For that, we dig into coupon registrations, lifestyle subscriptions, spa memberships, and virtually everything related to a person's leisure fantasies...

To know more, just leave your details in our box on your right!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How Bad is your Privacy? Can you keep a secret?

Let's get something straight.

When you hear talks on big data, they generally send a shiver up your spine, making you feel like a "2-bit" piece of data, which can be used or misused, and converted into millions of dollars, but not by you, only someone else!

And it is true.

But this is where most of us go wrong...

The information that you think is available on you is vast, and the ways of tracking are getting easier. No escape, right? Not exactly.

What enables marketers to find loads of information they need, is technology. The zillions of bytes that are helping devices track people and their interests, are in no way possible to be handled by humans - that is why big data technology has been around.

The onus of handling big data is on technology - cloud applications, etc., and the only information found about you is...
What you have supplied into the cyber space (knowingly or unknowingly)
What the marketer wants to find out, may not be necessarily about you, but on someone like you (and that's never 100% accurate)

So when a face-recognition technology correlates the target to the information in the cyber mirror, it is only as specific as the marketer wants.

What does this mean - 2 things:
1. Anyone can find anything about you, but most of that is of very little interest
2. And if you want to keep a secret, don't use your real photo, with your real name, especially on a web page where you have already divulged your secret.

So learn to keep a secret, and you're on easy turf. As far as guarding the fact that you - who works in X company, lives in Y address, it's impossible. What anyone outside your "circle" knows, everyone knows. But it's not that bad.

And what's better - you can tailor false information about yourself, especially when you are being driven to annoyance!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Why be Careful with your Data Staff?

Protocols are there to ensure ideal implementation of tasks, especially when the devices or technologies at play are potentially dangerous.

However, complete adherence to protocol can raise many practical issues. For example, in the big data business, there are numerous instances of anti-protocol behavior, without which the quality of the deliverable may be affected.

Here are the glitches often overlooked:

  • Filtration of meta-data 
  • Collection of incomplete (or partly solicited) information in tele-verification
  • The ambiguity of permission pertaining to social media 

While these are some of the problems that force protocol-oriented members contributing to bad data quality, you may be overlooking how far some of your staff might be stretching the boundaries.

More on the tricks of the trade in the next post.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Before you Buy or Sell something

When you want to know if your product or service is really creating happiness... or your business plan is worthy of creating it, you could be 'just as messed up as anybody else is!'

Monday, December 9, 2013

Solving the Bane of Procuring Meta Data

In spite of all the enthusiasm big data brings, what is overlooked is something that lies at the very stage of procurement.

The world is yet to see a technology that can dissect what we call the data tsunami, leaving enough space for ambiguity when large chunks of data are scored on their usefulness for a particular procurer.

The majority of big data analysis for commercial support happens at a much later stage. What Meta Data provides you, or even technology, can be highly erroneous. Without confirmation about every detail, scanning or filtering is only a matter chance when it comes to getting it right.

However, cloud computing scientists are on the verge of discovering excellent programs, which can hopefully guide upgraded data-capture apps towards correct information at a relatively early stage (procurement).

So here's what you can expect by the end of this decade (2020):

  • At least 30% more data accuracy (world average)
  • Worldwide customer information in a click (app-driven)
  • And coupled with face-recognition software, big data is already making investigative marketing a cakewalk!

So there's more hope than you think, my friend!

Till next time,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Big Data Business for the American Separatist

Sure you are against the Fed, big government spending, and keep diving into the all-important Orwellian predictions.

However, here's the way I look at it brethren...

While governments will be using big data to pry on you, you've got to find a way out to show the world how this new marvel of technology can benefit small businesses, the public, and the economy in general. Let's face it, every advancement in technology has held something good for the masses. While governments are banning the internet today, it is only because it has created way more freedom than was predicted. And people like us are fighting for every inch of the cyber space under siege.

And remember, if big data is so monstrous, there has to be a way to tame it.

Here's all the things big data does, and you may have overlooked:

Tells a startup business where, when, and how to find customers
Lets a small business retain customers for years
Lets entrepreneurs find who their peers can be
And most importantly, the technology allows you to operate it ethically, and encourage others to do the same

Cloud technology has brought us social networking, unlimited storage space, and with it, unlimited scope of government surveillance. Does it also mean that Cloud has brought us the scope for unlimited lines of code that spell "private security"? Why not?

It all comes back to trusting your community, upholding Libertarian values, and knowing exactly what your ethical limit is - especially when it comes to dealing with other people's information through people you have employed.

Soliciting is a great way to start. We made this progress by introducing double-verification steps in our data collection process. As a result, we've hardly had any trouble - be it the government or private citizens.

Among the internet laws in the United States, some stem from the Constitution. Soliciting is necessary, and without that our lives could turn into hell. If you looked carefully, the laws are not so much about protection against getting cheated, as they are about the protection of your privacy online... or rather your time and freedom!

Ethical management of big data is what makes it "big". The irony is this: With around 7 billion in this world, you can only be interested in a few million if you have a product to sell, and even fewer if you are a startup. What makes big data big is the scope of finding the few million, who actually desire what you can offer! And they have no problem with that as long as you are not fiddling about a plan to infringe upon their private lives.

Treading a thin line, many small business entrepreneurs have accepted big data - not as a necessary vice, but as the ultimate search machine.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why Build a Culture of Trust in your Company?

Thinking about gaining trust, or trusting your employees of that matter, one always starts grappling for conditions and risks... perhaps a way to make your wisdom a little more telling!

Now here's what - there are two ways you can go about solving problems while working in an organization. The first of them is to take it upward from the lower levels, through the management, which is supposed to have a clear understanding of the culture and the various standards, up to the top level, that is supposed to push down a solution that needs to be executed, right down at the lower levels.

Evidently, there are chances of losing context across the ladder!

However, the second way of solving the problem is harder to articulate. It comes with an element of building a culture of trust.

Discovering the obvious possibility of mismanagement, delinquency, or even theft is a no-brainer, really!

A more delicate way of taking this seriously is realizing what a self-trusting family of workers, oriented towards a common purpose can achieve.

Recent business history has revealed, time and again, when employees get more freedom, the overall output is more profitable. And that's not just by chance. Here's how it works. Whenever the top level is okay with ample freedom for workers, they surely trust them. Sure, there are certain specifications as to what has to be done, or what the end goal is. Once you have recruited someone for their skills, it is only stupid to have overlooked criminal tendencies or the lack of willingness to put in 100%.

When employees are encouraged to prove their mettle, they will. And you can trust me on that!

More about business, trust, and innovation in the next post!