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Consumer Data : One Lie Leads To Another
Cyber-crime is big business these days. There’s now a multi-million dollar underground economy in the theft and resale of sensitive consumer data like credit card numbers, bank account numbers and ATM PINs. Cyber-criminals steal this type of information in bulk and resell it to other cyber-criminals who then use the consumer data for a wide range of fraudulent purposes. Today’s cyber-criminals are skilled, determined and well equipped. They’ll take advantage of any security weakness that they can find, and there are lots of them.
They’re not the only criminals out there...Unfortunately there are also lots of lead generation businesses taking advantage of customers good will.
In today’s age customer data is one of the biggest commodities. Companies are buying consumer data as sales leads to increase their sales. Most companies have cottoned onto the fact that they can get another company to do their donkey work for them and as a result lead generation companies were born. It’s a massive and competitive market and one that does well.
So how does it work? The lead generation experts generate ...
... consumer data through consumer lifestyle surveys. From this they stack up masses of information on prospective consumers who want to hear from you. This is referred to as customer data.
So far so good. The prospective consumers are happy about being contacted about a product or service that they would actually consider purchasing. The lead generation company is happy as they now have customer data, and the external company or buyer is happy when they buy these great sales leads. Everybody’s a winner....or are they....?
As mentioned before data is big business and many companies are buying into this, however many are also being cheated. One of the main ways this is being done is when buyers are hoodwinked to think their leads are exclusive, when in truth they are being resold simultaneously to another company or companies.
Another way some lead generation companies are being unethical are by offering exclusivity for a period (normally3 months) but then reselling the customer data before the three months is up.
Sadly for the whole lead generation industry there are a lot of unethical lead generators out there putting a bad name to those sincere and honest companies who DO exist.
To date there isn’t really a body to monitor this. But there should be since customer data has become more valuable, and especially in this time of recession where some unscrupulous lead generators and data owners are trying to milk more and more profit from their data and sales leads by lying about exclusivity, and where they do offer it not sticking to the timeline.
There are the occasions when it is OK to sell consumer data to more than one company and that is if the buyers know about it in advance. Often in these cases the sales leads will be cheaper, and for companies with a low budget this may be the better option.
As a result of this there are different categories for data:
• First use data
• Second use data
• Third use data
Some companies prefer buying the less expensive recycled customer data. They buy in volume and put it it in their dialers in the call centres.
Now here, what is ethical is that there is transparency.
So the most important thing for a buyer is to firstly find a reputable lead generation company; secondly make sure they get the category of data they want, and if it is first use, to thirdly make sure they establish what the exclusivity is and not just assume the data or leads are exclusive because the information will not necessarily be volunteered; and finally the buyer should get transparency and agreement put into a contract.
Otherwise one lie leads to another - when just one lie by the lead generation company of exclusivity, may generate a lead for another (company).
Demet Dayanch is senior marketing manager for Seawave Media. Please visit our website www.seawavemedia.com or call Tulip, senior sales manager, on 0845 056 3593, or 07053 544966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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