Five key principles for a new decade of data

Tried and trusted methods of customer insight are all well and good. But the pace of change in modern consumerism demands that data consultancies constantly review their processes to keep track of what the customer wants and when.

We’d already refined our philosophy around the concept of Mutual Marketing, a virtuous circle where insight leads to better relationships and greater customer loyalty, boosting product sales and allowing the brand to deepen its knowledge of the individual.

We’ve now extended the concept beyond product marketing to consider consumer motivation better and improve the product. Building and marketing a better experience is more likely to result not just in greater individual consumer loyalty, but also recommendation to their peers.

We’ve identified five attributes needed to achieve this. The first is personalisation. Use what you already know about the customer to allow them to adapt the content of a campaign, thus increasing interaction with the product, for example, personalising widgets.

Relevance comes next – providing the most appropriate message at the right moment and through the right channel. To achieve relevance, you must trigger motivations and behaviour, ultimately to provide people with personalised recommendations in real-time.

Third comes understanding the customer’s relationship not only with the brand, but with other people. Show the individual you care – through timely, personalised messages – and they’re more likely to recommend you to others, thereby becoming an influencer and advocate.

The fourth principle is cross-channel management. This differs from multi-channel, in that the requirement is delivering consistent experiences through all relevant media in real-time, rather than just offering products through all channels. In other words, tailor the message specifically to each channel being used by tracking consumer behaviour.

And finally, we need to guarantee openness. This is the corollary of the above four principles, encouraging customers to engage with and make decisions about a brand. Effectively, openness is all about providing people with information and tools that allow them to understand and control their relationship with a brand – think sharing information via podcasts, social networks and iPhone apps.

Consumerism is moving on. The data industry must adapt with it to ensure our insight capabilities are not made obsolete.

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