The problems with traditional marketing databases

Here are some thoughts on the typical problems of traditional loyalty and marketing databases. Or in fact any consumer ‘aggregation’ database, like the ones that credit reference agencies operate, for example.

We’re contrasting this with an alternative approach, where the consumer keeps more control of what they share with the organisations that might make them offers. There is still a really important role for a central ‘broker’ / ‘intermediary’ / ‘convenor’ - like there is for any marketplace directory - but there really is no need for the data ‘hoarding’ that goes on in today’s dominant web commerce. As consumers
we should provide just enough to help explore the market for what we need, but no more. As ‘market makers’ or ‘brokers’ we should hold only the information we need to make the match. It’s safer and easier that way.

Traditional marketing promotions database Marketing Solution based on Coop Credentials
How does it work? Big central database with identified members plus matchmaking service plus coupon system Credentials with selectively disclosed info, plus matchmaking, plus coupons, plus dealmaking (ability to close a transaction based on verifiable data without unnecessary disclosure)
Where is the data held? In ‘issuing’ coop systems, in personal data stores and in the central marketing database. In the issuing systems and in a credential held by the member
Who owns the data, and who keeps the data up to date? GDPR data subject / controller. Data is self-asserted by subjects who access the data to check it, or it is checked by the coops that provide the data. It’s often unverified/unverifiable at the point of entry to the marketing db. Often with overlap and inconsistency between different sources. GDPR data subject / controller. Data is originated by the subject and verified by the credential-issuing coop. No overlap. No inconsistency.
How trusted / valuable is the data? Only as good as the effort put in to verify it. Often poor… with unclear / unreliable provenance, or out of date. It’s as good as the data in the source / issuing coop systems, and stays that way.
How are permissions to share / disclose handled? Complex permissioning and sharing system… who may share what with whom Selective disclosure, via a wallet, peer to peer after initial ‘introduction’ or deal. No need for the marketing db to be involved.
What technology is used? Traditional centralised databases plus matching algorithms plus mailshots W3C Verifiable Credentials plus (small, anonymous) db plus algorithms… plus wallet deal alerting. This could also be used in conjunction with the ‘Data Trust’ concept
What are the risks? Security, reputation, data quality effort. The technology is pretty new, and standards are still emerging.
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