Thomson triumphs in Data Strategy stakes

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The data marketing industry celebrated Marketing Week’s Data Strategy Awards last week, recognising the best work of the past year in this burgeoning field. Among the brands most deserving of praise were Thomson, New Look, Costa and Argos.

Travel agent Thomson was the night’s biggest winner, leaving with three awards, including the grand prix, for an email programme that sent personalised messages to holiday-seekers based on their website browsing. Prospective customers were sent holiday ideas according to what they had looked at and what similar browsers had bought.

The project, entered by agency CreatorMail, also won in the travel & leisure and behavioural targeting categories. The judging panel, which included data marketers from some of the world’s biggest brands, said of Thomson’s entry: “It’s well known that customers respond more favourably to timely, relevant and personalised content.

“Yet that doesn’t mean brands always achieve this. Our judges were impressed with Thomson’s use of behavioural data to drive engagement, response and ultimately purchase on a very large scale.”

Fashion retailer New Look was also a multiple winner, for two separate entries. It won in the mobile category for the launch of its transactional mobile website, in conjunction with agency Mobile Interactive Group. It also took the social media award for its NL Daily website, implemented with EMC Consulting, where the brand publishes daily content that is shared through social networks to encourage consumers to interact.

Coffee shop chain Costa, the brand of the year at Marketing Week’s Engage Awards in May, won the retail and home shopping award for its Costa Coffee Club initiative, as well as being shortlisted for the same entry in the customer relationship management and email marketing categories.

The free loyalty programme, designed alongside lead agency Meteorite, was used to segment customers according to their buying habits, then encourage behavioural change with targeted emails. The brand credits the scheme with significant sales increases.

Argos won the email marketing award for its personalised product recommendation emails, which deliver 8,000% return on investment according to the retailer. It entered with agencies Planning-inc and ExactTarget and was also shortlisted in retail & home shopping and behavioural targeting.

As the value of data and the importance of finding innovative marketing applications for it increase, these brands are showing how the right data strategy can deliver real results for a busines.

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