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65 a golden age strike a contract with companies. In return for receiving something of value, they are prepared to sacrifice personal information. For example, Google's email users are prepared to tolerate targeted advertising surrounding their in- box, in return for a free email service with unlimited memory space. Similarly, the 16- 24- year-old customers of Blyk, a new mobile network, are prepared to receive three to four personalised ads a day on their mobile, in return for a free service. The ad- funded mobile network has over 100,000 users and Blyk says its users don't find the ads irritating because they're so targeted. However, most social networkers are arguably not aware of the commercial undercurrent of peer- to- peer websites like Facebook, who are under increasing pressure to generate revenues. This became clear in 2007 when Facebook launched a controversial ad system called Beacon that broadcast its users' web behaviour to his or her ' friends' even when they were outside the social network. Privacy groups and Facebook users were outraged and the social network was forced to climb down. In the future, businesses will be expected to be transparent about the way they use their customer data. Compared to the wealth of information online, loyalty programmes like Tesco Clubcard are incredibly innocuous. As dunnhumby's Mick Yates points out: " Once people have filled in the form we never go back and check it, we don't need to. We don't need to know about their family life, we're not that intrusive. We just look at what they're buying which is an objective fact. And then to thank them for helping Tesco do a better job we send them rewards." A number of different journalists writing stories on the success of Tesco Clubcard have been surprised by the scant amount of personal information held by the retailer on its customers. dunnhumby's sophisticated analysis enables retailers to personalise their offering without infringing their customers' privacy. Elizabeth Rigby, Financial Times journalist writes: " Two letters, a photocopy of his passport, a letter showing proof of address and a £ 10 administrative charge later. Tesco dispatched my father's data. At 16 pages long, it is bare on detail. It lists all his store visits... and the amount he has spent. It also details the points he has earned... Tesco has not updated the information since he joined the scheme in 1994." We don't need to know about their family life, we're not that intrusive

66 Talk to talk Customer data has never before reached such a revolutionary, step changing scale. Today, dunnhumby analyses the shopping behaviour of 200m households, a huge number that is swiftly heading towards half a billion households. dunnhumby uses this information to target relevant advertising to supermarket customers through quarterly statements, on- line, in- store and outdoor media, as well as fine- tuned messages for the customer clubs. At the moment, while your local supermarket might know what's in your shopping basket, your bank knows what you buy, your mobile company knows where you are and who you speak to, and your favourite search engine knows what sort of holiday you're researching, none of this data is linked together. In the future, companies might start exchanging this data to get a fuller picture of their customers' lives. Imagine for example, if a supermarket linked its shopping information with viewing habits from satellite TV or an internet search engine. This could obviously only happen with the permission of customers, but could lead to enormous benefits for consumers and business. Closing the loop of understanding around media and shopping habits would enable advertisers to see if their TV ads had actually led to a purchase in a supermarket. In turn, this could enable advertisers to beam relevant ads into their living room. Whoever is making sense of customer data is also in the position to manage marketing messages to customers. The accumulation of data from different companies would enable a trusted customer gateway like dunnhumby to send targeted, personalised relevant messages to a mass audience for the first time, achieving Clive's intention of ' mass intimacy.' For example, if Coca- Cola wanted to talk to its customers, personalised advertising could be sent to tens of millions of Coca- Cola drinkers. The holy grail of good, responsible mass marketing. Customers would be grateful too, because it could spell the end of being bombarded by irrelevant advertising. dunnhumby's Rufus Evison suggests that some consumers in the future will log into a ' preference centre' to signal what they are prepared to accept in terms of communications. For example, any colour you like as long as it's any colour you like Customer data has never reached such a revolutionary, step change scale