O2 to open up customer database

Telefónica, the company behind the O2 brand in the UK, is to open up its location-based customer database to third party companies through a new Dynamic Insights service.
Much like the scheme run by DunnHumby for Tesco Clubcard, the programme aims to interpret, analyse and then sell the anonymous data of O2 customers. The mobile giant already offers customer data to its Priority Moments partners but this deal will see it open up its database on a much larger scale.
The first product, called Smart Steps, will launch next month. According to Telefónica Digital chief commercial officer Stephen Shurrock, one of the major benefits is that it will help retailers measure store traffic.
The aggregated customer data will enable retailers to see where certain age groups are shopping at a particular time of day, which could assist the shop owner to then tailor products, offer discounts and adjust staffing levels.
However, he stressed that retailers would not be able to identify phone users from the Smart Steps data.
“It’s not about individual customers,” said Shurrock. “Big data is one of the key building blocks of the digital economy. Approached in a smart and responsible way it has the potential to transform every part of business and society.”
The launch is being helped by a global partnership with the German marketing research firm GfK, which will initially help develop Dynamic Insights.
“We are constantly working to help our clients understand the impact of technology on changing consumer behaviour, and particularly the unique challenges and opportunities presented by mobile,” said Gerhard Hausruckinger, chief operating officer of GfK’s consumer choices sector. “Together with Telefónica we will develop a portfolio of market-leading products and services.”

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