68 a sticking point for consumers. They will not be prepared to share their valuable data with companies they do not trust and with companies who do not give something back in return. And why should they? The customer contract In the future, customers will begin to make new value equations around their data. Some will be prepared to share their data and/ or attention in exchange for something else of value. Others will not. They will also have more control over their data. An opt- in model like the ' preference centre' would enable consumers to alert potential car manufacturers, for example, that they want to buy a new car. They would then receive a series of relevant ads until they had made their purchase and alerted the manufacturers that the ads were no longer needed. Already a number of emerging business models are experimenting with exchanging free services for media attention. Digital TV businesses like BT Vision and Sky are debating how to manage the way viewers fast forward the ads on their digital box. There might be different pricing models. A premium TV service has no advertising, whereas a basic service would require the viewer to watch a handful of relevant ads. This raises larger questions around the way the media makes money from stealing our attention. Should we be paying for our newspaper if the paper is making money by selling our attention to an advertiser like Procter and Gamble. In the future, should consumers get a cut of this money too? If individuals don't see the benefits of sharing their data with organisations they will not be prepared to co- operate with organisations. For this reason, the onus is on all of us to ensure companies forge a responsible contract with their customers, a contract that says thank you and gives them something in return for their data. We take our role as a customer data pioneer very seriously indeed. By analysing shopping behaviour we are able to help retailers and suppliers provide a more satisfying shopping trip, more relevant communications, offers and rewards to millions of customers around the world. any colour you like as long as it's any colour you like
69 a golden age We understand the importance that customers attach to information about them and are committed to ensuring everything we do is with their permission, understanding and appreciation of the contract involved. The golden age of marketing? Tesco, Kroger, Casino, Macy's, Best Buy, Gruppo Pam and The Home Depot are pioneers in the world of customer data. By balancing a respectful responsibility for their customers' privacy along with a desire to reward them for their data, these companies are forging a new contract with consumers. If other companies follow their lead we could witness a golden age in marketing. An age where every commercial message sent to customers is personal, targeted, and relevant, always offering customers something they want to hear. An era of relevant, targeted communications that banishes irrelevant junk mail for good. An age where there is a dialogue between customers and business, where companies listen to what their customers want and overhaul their organisational structures to incentivise their staff to put customers first. An era of customer- friendly corporate culture, where any business problem can be described in terms of customers as well as revenues. An age where companies intelligently apply their insight in order to create new products and new services that they know would be desired by their customers. An era of ' mass intimacy', where millions of different customers are treated as individuals. An age where companies compensate their loyal customers with relevant financial incentives, rewarding them for sharing their data. An era of responsible customer contracts where loyalty really does pay. A golden age of personalisation. And an age where any customer can have any colour they like, as long as it's any colour they like.