A mix of new entrants and traditional companies invest in online information management for you
Marketing online has fallen into step with other marketing in traditional channels in major respects. Just as you receive those supposedly targetted catalogs and direct mail, you also have online page ads, email offers, and offline offers based upon online signups which may have included your address or phone.
Some people however feel differently. They see online as a fresh frontier for actually controlling your own information and managing how it is used. Sounds like a pipedream, and of course traditional marketers are resisting. However some new leaders, and some traditional companies see ways to harness the power of the web, and use it to improve online commerce for consumers.
While governmental efforts inch along, companies like Reputation.com are forging ahead with new services that promise consumers more insight into the data collected about them. This month, for example, the direct-to-consumer division of Equifax, the credit information services company, plans to begin offering its customers a separate personal data report from Reputation.com in addition to their credit report. Some Equifax customers will also be offered the option to have Reputation.com delete personal details, like home addresses and phone numbers, from certain information broker databases.
“We see broadening consumers’ understanding of what’s out there about them online as a very natural extension of what we do today,” said Trey Loughran, the president of Equifax Personal Information Solutions.
Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) for consumers remains largely a theory. However these initiatives might be the germ of the first at scale implementation of something like VRM.