Businesses seem to know more about you than you know about yourself.
Sign up for or log into any social media platform and you will encounter suggested buying options based on your personal interests or previous buying history.
There’s a reason for that. The market is a consumers’ market. Any company that wants the chance of long-term sustainability must know as much detailed information as possible about their ideal client or consumer, says Janét Aizenstros, Chairwoman & CEO of Ahava Digital Group (www.ahavadigital.com), a women-led digital consultancy that serves Fortune and multinational media companies in 15 locations globally using data and technology.
And it’s not just the business sector. Government agencies, political parties and private equity investors make decisions every day based on what data reveals to them about a person’s income, financial and buying habits, credit history, political identification, demographics, personal values, lifestyle, emotional sentiments, voting history, opinions and modeled behavior.
“Without good, verified data, decision-makers would have to rely on guesswork as they introduce products and services, plan an election campaign, or determine whether a community needs their next real estate project,” says Aizenstros, whose company gathers and provides ethically verified data to Fortune corporations seeking to nurture relationships with women consumers.
“Guesswork obviously is not the best approach, especially when millions of dollars are involved.”
How do businesses use verified data to make short-term and long-term decisions for their consumers’ needs?
“Ideally, personal milestones change a person’s buying habits,” Aizenstros says. “Examples are highlights of becoming a new parent, moving to a new home, or getting married. If a business knows you’ve just had a baby, then they know you need car seats, toys, diapers and a host of other products they can market to you.”
Consumer data carries great value to businesses, but only if it’s verified, refreshed frequently and keeps up with data and privacy legislation changes by data being ethically-sourced, Aizenstros says.
Here are a few ways data is used to keep the economy, and the world in general, humming along:
Auto industry. Car dealers need a good understanding of their potential customers’ income and what vehicles they might prefer based on lifestyle. GM, Ford, and others draw insights from consumer financial data and lifestyle data as they plan and implement marketing campaigns for new models.
Fashion industry. The fashion industry’s new focus is sustainability to capture the growing trend of fashionistas. The retail industry pre-COVID relied more on the human experience than the ecommerce experience for their consumers to make decisions. But now Estée Lauder, for example, has accelerated its focus on e-commerce because of the pandemic’s disruption to brick-and-mortar stores. With verified and predictive consumer data, fashion brands can quickly measure how customers react to ideas and make prompt adjustments accordingly.
Real estate. Real estate developers are always trying to figure out which areas of a community to focus on for their next investment. If they are slow to identify trends, they could miss out on making money. Data helps them monitor, for example, which areas of a city are showing a growing trend in mortgages and credit history.
Financial institutions. Financial institutions use data in such areas as credit-risk assessments or to send targeted offers of investment products to consumers.
“The reason obtaining ethically-sourced, verified data is so important to corporations is that they want to maximize their ad spend by diminishing their burn-and-churn rates,” Aizenstros says. “They need to know who their ideal client is and what they exactly want so the business can maximize their marketing investment by more than 90%.”
Janét Aizenstros is Chairwoman & CEO of Ahava Group Global (www.ahavagroup.co), a modern media parent company that serves Fortune and multinational media companies in 15 locations globally. Her background includes roles in finance at TD Canada Trust, Canon, and Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls, along with management consulting in a broad range of functions, such as supply chain operations and data analysis. Aizenstros is a signatory with the United Nations Business Action Hub for the United Nations Global Compact program. She is an award-winning businesswoman with several leadership awards such as the Top 40 under 40, the Top 10 Inspiring Women in Canada, and 2019 Conscious Company Media’s Top 22 Business Leaders.