Those of us in the Database Marketing field are on the verge of losing our deathgrip on customer information.
As an example, take the blog Yuvisense, hosted by Yuvi, a fifteen year old in India. Recently, Yuvi decided to analyze information about uber-blogger Robert Scoble's blog. This link is the second of his posts about Scoble's blog.
Two topics come to mind.
First, who are you going to hire, the twenty-six year old who mails you a resume, touting the three years of experience at a great company, or Yuvi, the person who had the initiative at age fifteen to unabashedly share his analytical insights about a uber-blogger with the entire world, illustrating a clarity of presentation that most forty year olds cannot aspire to?
Second, pretend you are the Vice President of Database Marketing at a company like Talbots, J. Jill, Williams Sonoma, J.C. Penney, J. Crew, or any other company that starts with a J. In time, which option makes more sense?
Option #1 = Hire bright analytical minds, competing against companies like Google or Yahoo! on the basis of salary, benefits, stock options and prestige.
Option #2 = Farm out Database Marketing to Abacus or any number of competitors.
Option #3 = Make your analyses available to a throng of eager analytical bloggers, offering prize money to the individual who develops an acceptable answer, and a stipend to other individuals who invest time in the solution.
In time, I can see a world where folks like Yuvi access corporate datasets with anonymous information, creating brilliant insights and analyses that cannot possibly be matched by in-house talent. And what an interesting opportunity this presents for both businesses and individuals.
I subscribed to Yuvi's RSS feed. Let's see where Yuvi, and thousands of other bright, enterprising analytical minds take the field of Database Marketing.