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Data as a brand service tool

September 3, 2008

Media and brand websites are collecting a ton of data.

Obviously, there’s the inbuilt desire to keep and own that data, instead of sharing and using it for something. Increasingly the aggregation of data on a community level is going to be a way in which brands can enhance their relationship with their consumer base.

Dopplr is a brand that’s building its reason for being out of the sharing of its data with its users, so much so that they are starting to predict travel trends for the coming season.

Dopplr Invite

Google Insights is an example of a brand providing an additional service through the sharing of data.

Another organization playing with this concept is the BBC, who are sharing their radio audience data with its user base with its Radio Pop initiative. Here’s how the Beeb describes it..

“Whenever you listen to live BBC radio through Radio Pop (either within
the site or with a widget) it will store what and when you listened. We
can then use this data in a number of ways. Firstly, you can see a
history of what you listened to – maybe you’d like to go back to last
week or even last year and see what you heard. Secondly, there are
at-a-glance statistics and graphs on your Radio Pop profile page
showing your favourite radio networks and programmes.

Radio Pop is social software. Just like the many social networking
sites out there you can add your friends to Radio Pop – then you can
see their listening, subscribe to their latest programmes feed or even
see the aggregated favourite networks of all your friends.”

In the BBC’s case the habitual data becomes the “glue” that links the social network together; integrating the brand into the network. Obviously, there will be “experts” suggesting this needs to be a Facebook application, rather than a stand alone social network.



Clearly, there’s an opportunity to make more use of data to build closer relationships to brands and between brand users. Before this happens, perhaps there first has to be a cultural shift that takes place inside organizations that makes the sharing and freeing up of data, something acceptable.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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