Uber: The Big Data Company

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This new article from Forbes does an excellent job at illustrating the potential of Big Data to improve brand engagement and add massive value to companies, in this case, the transportation app Uber.

“Creepy? Maybe. Valuable? Sure is – to Uber, to Starwood, and even to me. I fly once a month to our offices in Seattle – Uber knows this because they drop me off at SFO and pick me up a few hours later at Sea-Tac. Uber then takes me to the Hyatt in Seattle and someone, somewhere on the Starwood marketing team cries a single tear before jumping into action. I am a frequent business traveller and active Starwood member that just chose to stay somewhere other than a Starwood property, costing them revenue. They know this because Uber knows this, and before I know that they know, I’ll be getting offers left and right to make sure my next stay in Seattle is with Starwood.

Uber can run the same program with airlines, restaurants, nightclubs, bars – every time you go from point A to point B in an Uber, “A”, “B” or both represent a new potential consumer of your data.”

The main takeaways:

1. Privacy is dead. Between location data, Terms of Service agreements, past-purchase information, and social media, there’s almost certainly databases in existence that know more about you than even perhaps you do. But that’s acceptable, because…

2. People are willing to give out their personal information in exchange for a superior service. Your brand can develop a trust between customers if you give them enough additional benefits, discounts, and recommendations that sit will with them.

3. Big Data is Big Business. Uber is worth almost 42 billion dollars and they’ll leverage their customer data to become a big data company like Google and Facebook. In a world where many things are free or shared, information is the next most valuable currency.

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