Watching some of the new ventures getting funded over the last several months, there’s an interesting trend that’s turning user-generated content into real value for companies and their customers.
One example is Driveway Software, which develops applications that insurance companies offer to their customers. The apps track driving behavior, and enable the insurer to offer discounts based on good driving habits. In the healthcare sector, companies like AFrame Digital and Lark are creating devices and apps that enable doctors, care-givers, and individuals to track patient health and provide better, more personalized care. FlixMaster collects information about how we watch interactive on-line videos so that media companies and advertisers can create more engaging content.
While the content in these instances is “user-generated,” all the work is being done within machine-to-machine interfaces. User devices or apps collect information and communicate with data collection and analytics engines to produce both individual and aggregated intelligence. That intelligence enables companies to offer new and unique products and services.
For each company that collects and uses customer-generated data intelligently, there are scores who collect data but never use it. That’s not only a waste, but also an unjustified risk – keeping customer information without carefully managing it can have legal ramifications and expose the company to liability.
Bottom Line: There are countless ways to collect data about your customers. Before you start, decide exactly why you’re collecting it, how you’ll manage it, and what intelligence and action the data will drive.