Data can turn any dream into reality

Asos founder Nick Robertson is already one of the UK’s most admired CEOs. If he can replicate his success internationally as planned, that reputation will soon spread further. In turn, expanding across borders without losing the potency or values of the brand will rely on having the right people and the right kit to use customer data to its fullest.

Robertson already blends an instinctive entrepreneurial streak with an unswerving focus on how he can do better for his precious customer.

Our interview with him and his global marketing director Clare Dobbie (a former Gap, French Connection and Nike marketer) suggests that they already recognise the increasingly significant role of customer data in their future growth.

Last week, I spent two days with 35 Marketing Week readers at the Marketing Week Data Summit in Brussels, where we heard from a range of brands including Best Buy Europe, Gala Coral, Nationwide and on the challenges data professionals face as they seek to feed marketers the customer insight that can be most vital.

Most of the challenges were man-made. You read that correctly.

Almost all of the barriers that prevent organisations using data in a way that wins you enthused new customers and increases the loyalty and spend of your current customers are internal, whether they be about organisational structure or lack of understanding.

By incorporating Data Strategy into our pages every month, Marketing Week hopes to demonstrate that we are part of the solution. We’re here to champion best practice and demonstrate how brands such as Asos are growing on a platform of effective database marketing.

To this end, you will start seeing more and more editorial noise about our newly reformatted Data Strategy Awards, which take place on 19 October and will reflect the very best marketing by brands; marketing that was achieved because of great customer data and insight.

To enter, visit and hurry the deadline for award entries is 5 July. I’ll be hosting the evening and prior to that I’ll be chairing the judging panel, which will be announced in these pages in two weeks’ time.

More information about the awards will be found in next week’s Data Trends feature but don’t wait until then to start deciding which pieces of work you’re going to enter. Data is what helps you identify your correct audience, it enables you to target your most valuable customers in the right way at the right time and it is what enables you to identify their needs before they do. Whether your preferred channel is mail, mobile, email, social media or online display, these awards will help us help you champion effective marketing. As Nick Robertson and Clare Dobbie demonstrate, get this right and anything is possible.

Mark Choueke

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