There are many ways, companies analyze and monitor consumers. They know what you buy, how much money you spend, where you move, what products you search for, what your preferences are and many other things. If we compare this to the military world, it is like one party spying and using sophisticated intelligence to monitor another party in order to identify them, determine what to do next, what is the right timing to do something and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the other party.
But in the military world it is normal that both parties try to collect information, gather intelligence and also have counter-intelligence, otherwise the situation significantly favors the party that dominates information. In the consumer market it is very much that only one other party uses sophisticated intelligence and benefits. How could we change that?
Based on customer data, businesses typically try to understand, for example, the following aspects:
At the same time consumers have many questions too, how they should buy products and services and where, for example:
Consumers think of these questions quite often and try to find answers to them, but it is typically based on very limited data, analytics and processing capacity. They might have seen a few offers, don’t have all details, then quickly try to make some conclusions in their heads. At the same time, the other side, businesses, use smart algorithms, a lot of collected and purchased data and a lot of cloud computing power to get a consumer ‘on the hook’.
It sounds like an unfair situation. Isn’t it also against a main principle of free markets, that each party should have all relevant information, otherwise the market cannot function properly? At least, if we think of the military example, a military organization would quickly spring to action if the other party dominated the intelligence frontier.
Fortunately, we have now arrived at a situation where consumers could really start their own counter-intelligence action. Only 5 to 10 years ago this would have been very difficult. Technology, regulation and business changes have enabled this, for example:
They need better tools to collect the data from multiple sources and tools consumers can use to manage their own data and find relevant information from businesses. They also need data models that can interface with businesses and better algorithms, especially to fight for consumer’s interests. And we are very close to seeing these tools.
The last 15 years have made data the epicenter of business, but it hasn’t been balanced development. It has meant the dominance of businesses over consumers, but also on the business side it has been dominance of some companies that have got much more data than others. When enough parties that don’t like that dominance get together things start to change and technology and services are developed to challenge the dominance. We are now at that point – it is the time of consumer counter-intelligence.
The articles first appeared on Disruptive.Asia.
Est. 2009 Grow VC Group is building truly global digital businesses. The focus is especially on digitization, data and fintech services. We have very hands-on approach to build businesses and we always want to make them global, scale-up and have the real entrepreneurial spirit.
Research Report 1/2018: Distributed Technologies - Changing Finance and the Internet
Research Report 1/2017: Machines, Asia And Fintech:
Rise of Globalization and
Protectionism as a
Fintech Hybrid Finance Whitepaper
Fintech And Digital Finance Insight & Vision Whitepaper
Learn More About Our Companies: