As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben famously cautioned with his last words: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Marketing leaders may feel far removed from the web-slinging superhero in the comic books, but this piece of advice is one that marketers should take to heart, especially as they confront what to do with the sensitive data they collect from smartphones, wearables, and the other sensor-laden devices their customers will increasingly use.
This new generation of devices collects information from two previously untapped realms: our physical bodies and the physical environments we inhabit. This is the “smart body, smart world” phenomenon, and for marketers it means gaining access to entirely new domains of customer information – enormous amounts of data from some of the most intimate aspects of consumers’ lives: their daily activity, their sleep quality, even how well they’re brushing their teeth.
This deepened customer information is both a burden and a blessing for marketers, as it not only provides ample opportunity to learn about and engage with customers, but it also requires major changes in marketing practices to serve customers effectively and responsibly. To capitalize on the opportunities of the smart body, smart world paradigm, smarter marketers will:
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