Reflecting on the Heart of Transparency

People on StreetWhen it comes to transparency, the buck stops here
When I accepted my role at Frequentz, I thought it would be an opportunity to transition back into technology within the rising global demand for software offering complete transparency.  As a consumer, I had seen food supply chains stretching around the world and continually breaking down resulting in all-too-common recalls. I soon realized that traceability was central to ensuring the quality and safety of the food we eat, the water we drink, and the medicines we ingest. What I didn’t appreciate was how many points along the supply chain can add significant risk to these products.

Reflecting back upon my career and the companies I’ve worked with, I had to ask myself:
Was I really able to deliver on the brand promise?
Were the messages I created to engage consumers done with integrity?
What impact did those messages have upon the millions of people around the world who received them?

Regardless of the industry we work in, we can all benefit from asking ourselves these same questions.
If we work in hospitality, are we living up to the promise that our rooms are spotless and with all the advertised amenities? Are the towels and sheets washed in clean water? If we advertise ourselves as a “green” business, are we really doing things in an environmentally sustainable way? If we create technology, are we delivering the features we advertise? Where did all the components come from? Have we accurately traced them across the supply chain?

And if we produce that most precious of all commodities—food—can we stand behind its quality and safety at every point in the supply chain?

We enter the world in a state of grace in which we cannot help but trust everything we see, touch, and taste. Is it unreasonable to think that as adults we can each strive do everything in our power to earn that trust?

Transparency is a product of data and insight
I think we owe it to our clients and end-consumers to carry out the kind of purposeful planning that builds trust. When I say planning, I’m referring to the use of every available tool or mechanism that can get us closer to the best products possible. What data do we need to collect in order to gain insight into what makes people do the things they do that compromise product quality? How do we create feedback systems that provide us with a constant stream of reliable information we can use to improve our offerings?

Talk is cheap and data can be interpreted in different ways. It is only by enforcing a culture of transparency that companies can honor their clients and customers—and themselves. Here are a couple of Frequentz customers who we think are doing it right.

Good data leads to real-time messaging
The Metro Group is based in Dusseldorf, Germany with over 2,200 locations, a quarter of a million employees, and annual sales of more than $60 billion. Frequentz has engaged with Metro in two ways. First, we have helped them track their coupon performance incentives within their loyalty program network.  Second, we help them in specific supply industries. With fresh seafood, for example, we’re enabling their marketing teams to localize messaging by marrying the distribution of specific species on the shelf to in-the-moment promotions for specific geographical markets.

It is this type of up-front purposeful planning that will enable us as a species to collectively feed our world—while protecting the earth’s natural resources.  This kind of planning also reinforces companies’ commitments to social responsibility and lays an ethical foundation for future initiatives regarding labor force preservation.

A consumer app that tracks medicine
Headquartered in Rockland, MA, EMD Serano has instituted a mobile app program around their drugs for multiple sclerosis and cancer. Aptly titled “Check My Meds”, the app enables the verification of medicines by putting tracking information directly into the hands of patients and the nurses who provide the treatment.

Not only does this reinforce product integrity. It also generates data that can help manage adherence and lead to the end goal of better overall care. The app also gives EMD the direct insight it can use to adjust its messaging in real-time messaging. This ability to instantly inform patients and nurses about product-related news helps it position itself as a trusted source.

EMD’s care protocols are predicated on decisive and data-driven proof points to create an open circle of trusted information flowing from manufacturer to patients and caregivers, and then back to manufacturer. Those points are all based on sound data.

Consumers want the facts
Data is not the only factor in decision-making, but it is an important one. Our platform generates multitudes of items in milliseconds, providing information and in-depth knowledge to serve up transparent insights.  Data alone won’t necessarily keep consumers safe. But when coupled with analytic software, it can minimize the impact an adverse event might otherwise have on a company and mitigate damage to the brand.

Fact-based messaging can reduce consumer concerns and can keep companies from adopting a knee-jerk, defensive posture.  It can even lead to thoughtful consumer engagement.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes
Retaining customer loyalty goes beyond the smart use of data. It’s also about listening to customers outside of transaction events. It’s about learning their likes and dislikes, creating content that engages them on a personal level, and providing thoughtful service.

Transparency depends not only on the quality of the data we collect and analyze, but on our ability to observe. I think at times, we can gather the greatest insights by simply opening our eyes to our surroundings.

Advances in technology and data capture are rapidly improving our ability to get safe, high quality foods, drugs and other products into the hands of consumers. But behind all that technology are human beings. It is up to all of us—no matter where we work—to stand behind the products and services we provide.

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Greg Seremetis

About Greg Seremetis
Greg Seremetis serves as Chief Marketing Officer at Frequentz, leading the company’s worldwide brand expansion efforts to further its marketplace awareness, customer relationships, and innovative marketplace technology offerings. Mr. Seremetis has an extensive 30-year global marketing communications background creating new marquee brands while delivering unique brand experiences via digital technology and mobile, customer relationship management, and integrating major marketing initiatives across several brand communication channels including multimedia and corporate communications. Prior to joining Frequentz, he held key senior level leadership roles at Petco, Hilton Worldwide, and Gateway Computers. Mr. Seremetis participates in several community organizations to further social consciousness on the national, regional, and local fronts.

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