Asda: If one firm misuses customer data it could “kill the whole thing” for all of us

By Sooraj Shah
13 Feb 2014 View Comments
UK retailer Asda

Organisations should be wary of misusing the mass amount of customer data available or they could "kill the whole thing" for all firms, according to Asda's head of insight and pricing, Alex Chruszcz.

Speaking at the Customer Insight Conference 2014, Chruszcz said that due to the range of different companies being able to get hold of various types of consumer data, such as mobile operators, banks and retailers, Asda is conscious of how it uses its customers' data. 

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"We are very conscious that there is a ‘land grab' from owning this interaction with the shopper because all sorts of third parties are saying that they can get messages out to the shoppers from these different channels," he said.

"I think there is a risk that if it is done inappropriately by one or two organisations it can kill the whole thing," he said.

"You will see a customer backlash [if companies use the data inappropriately], but that isn't to say businesses shouldn't do it at all," he added.

David Sear, CEO of Weve, the joint venture between O2, Vodafone and EE, said that companies need to ensure they don't irritate consumers with advertising, and ensure that there has been permission by the consumer to be contacted.

"If you can be relevant and respectful with the type of communication you have, you begin to win," he said.

But when asked whether it would be fine for a retailer such as Tesco to send an offer to a consumer by text, because it has used location data to understand that the person is in Waitrose, Sear said he "couldn't comment" because of his involvement with Weve.

Weve offers a mobile display advertising service which is being trialled by Tesco. The supermarket will be able to access anonymised data from EE, O2 and Vodafone, including the age, gender and location of users. 

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