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Doing amazing things

As Big Data continues to get traction, a lot of possibilities are cropping up for companies to target customers and potential customers. Better targeting of advertisements is being adopted quite aggressively. But this only marks the beginning of the possibilities.

Big Data can be used for a host of other things, including differential pricing, product bundling, product/service enhancements and so on. Amazing things can be done with the data that is so easy to collect and is only getting even easier to do so. But for every amazing thing that can be done, there is a bit more of that privacy that you so covet that you will have to give up.

Brands have already experimented with differential pricing based on health records, criminal records, job profile, sexual orientation, salary-day spending pattern and so on. Targeting advertisements and pricing based on salary-day spending pattern seemed really sinister to me. Imagine having to pay a little bit extra for a movie ticket or a dinner booking because it happens to be your pay-day, or even your birthday or anniversary.

Amazing things can be done with Big Data. You just have to decide whether you want to do amazing things for your consumers and enhance your brand equity for the long term, or do amazing things for yourself (as a company/brand), and enhance shorter term profits. More often than not, these two do not overlap.

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