- Advertisers and brands will have to pay for controlled access to customer data – and to win the right to make promotional offers
- App helps consumers control their own data and inhibits intrusive ads
- Consumers can license their data and be rewarded for sharing it
A new platform, backed by leading investors, will rebalance the relationship between consumers and brands by licensing personal data and putting people in control of their information.
people.io will invite consumers to disclose information about their interests and preferences. This data will then be used to match businesses with engaged consumers. Brands can then bid for the opportunity to connect with those ideal customers – and part of the bid will convert into a reward for those individuals reached via people.io.
Next week, people.io will be launching the first trial in Shoreditch where restaurants, bars, florists and retail locations have already signed up. The plan is for the app to roll out nationwide, tapping into local businesses and major brands from around the country.
Aside from uniquely targeted adverts and promotions from local businesses and national brands, users of the service are rewarded in the form of credits. These can be converted into charity donations or redeemed in the marketplace against online subscription costs such as an annual membership to their music streaming service.
Nicholas Oliver, founder of people.io, said: “We have all had the experience of ads following us around the web – and of products that we’ve recently searched for popping up adjacent to the stories that we’re reading. For some of us, this feels fine, but there is also a growing sense that this could be done a lot better, with fewer messages that actually mean something to us, rather than receiving a scattergun of misjudged content.”
“people.io is a way for people to realise the value of their data, but is also about offering control. Any data that users share with us belongs to them completely. We never claim ownership of any data we receive. We simply act as an intermediary between consumers and brands. You stay in control of everything you share with us and if you leave the platform, any personal data you gave is deleted permanently.”
In the last decade, the relationship between consumers and brands online has been muddied by a sea of ads competing for attention and an array of tracking technologies that have gathered information about consumer behaviour. There is little transparency and very often consumers are left confused as to exactly where the data about them has been collected from.
Nicholas added: “We are putting consumers in control of their own data, fiercely protecting how their data is used to ensure privacy and rewarding them for the information they are willing to share. This helps to create a fairer value exchange for consumers who until now, have been largely cut out of the chain.”
The platform is free to use and simple to sign up. Entering your name immediately earns a user credits. They receive further credits every time they share information on the things they like, or by connecting data services, like email, to do it automatically. The credits can be exchanged for goods and services in the people.io marketplace or converted into a cash donation for a partner charity.
people.io also enables consumers to get a better deal in their transactions with retailers, manufacturers and service providers. A poll of British consumers found that fewer than one in 20 is comfortable in asking retailers and brands for a discount. On the flip side, nine in ten consumers said that they would feel more loyal to a brand if it offered them a personalised incentive to buy.
people.io is seeking to disrupt the imbalance in our relationship with brands, enabling consumers to regain control of the value of their data whilst allowing sellers to reach the people who are most likely to want their products or services.
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Notes to Editors
Data suggests that 80% of consumers now believe that personal data is their property, and that they should be able to trade it as they see fit. [Acxiom & DMA, June 2015]
people.io is a marketplace that puts consumers back in control by allowing them to dynamically license their data and attention to brands. The platform enables consumers to earn credits by sharing information and engaging with content or updates from relevant, local businesses. Credits can be exchanged for products and subscriptions from your favourite brands or even given as a donation to charity. people.io will never share an individual’s data with third parties. All user data remains under licence from the consumer, with the option to opt-out and have their data deleted from the platform at any time.
Behind people.io is a team committed to putting consumers first. Using their expertise from the worlds of advertising, finance and consumer tech industries, they’re working hard to put people back in control of their data. For far too long, consumers have been subject to irrelevant, intrusive marketing with nothing in return for their data. We think now is the time to change.
About Nicholas Oliver, Founder
Nic is a digital evangelist with a breadth of experience in business and innovation. He launched his first digital production company at the tender age of 15 and since then has built a stellar career in the advertising, marketing and digital innovation sector. As Global Creative Technical Director for Team Detroit (WPP) he worked with Ford Motor Company to identify emerging technologies and partnerships that could create more authentic consumer conversations.
Throughout his career, Nic’s focus has been on creating the best experience for the consumer, as he believes that great experiences create the best forms of engagement. It was seeing how brands are constantly looking for better ways to engage consumers meaningfully that inspired Nic to set up people.io.