Making the most of customer data


Nigel Clifton, Head of Creative at N2O, shares his opinion on how to make the most of customer data.

Last year we predicted that a major marketing trend for 2019 would be the increasing sophistication of data collection and use.

Now 2019 is well under way, we thought we’d dig a little deeper. How can data help brands, retailers and agencies deliver a first-class experience for consumers?

First of all, it’s not just about data collection. The analysis and use of collected customer data are just as important.

So let’s look at what’s happening at each point of the data ‘supply chain’:

Get it.

It can be tricky to get consumers to hand over their personal data, but new technologies and techniques are helping marketers collect the detailed and diverse data they need. For instance…

Gamification: We’ve found huge value in the gamification of data collection. We’ve recently begun using new technology to engage shoppers through playful ‘gamified interactions’, where they play on fun, interactive tablets in return for their invaluable data.

Footfall tracking: Smartphone tracking technology can now gather the anonymous smartphone data of shoppers to measure specific audience metrics. For an experiential marketing agency like us, this is ideal for confirming unique footfall, demographics and dwell time at brand events.

Analyse it.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly getting the most out of raw data by analysing it quickly and cleverly.

US grocery chain Earth Fare used AI to improve how it did its promotion planning by helping the retailer ‘analyze the cause-and-effect around promoting any item, during the weeks before and after’. The end result was more effective promotions, leading to a 3% increase in total topline sales.

Use it.

With better data collection and analysis comes a customer experience tailored and targeted to be more relevant, more personal, and therefore more enjoyable – and more profitable.

Imagine a car park that greets you by name, sends you a coupon for your regular coffee shop, and tells you about a sale at your favourite clothes store. The ‘intelligent parking management solution’ of Danish firm Simplyture can do just that.

And so on…

It’s a beautiful circle – show customers you value their data enough to improve their experience, and they’re more likely to share it in the first place. According to a recent study by IGD, half of pre-family shoppers say they’re prepared to share data with supermarkets, in exchange for tailored food and grocery shopping. In a world that’s keen on privacy and wary of big data, that’s a pretty inspiring statistic for marketers.