There is no such thing as a generic customer

Brands are waking up to the value of insight that looks at specific customer segments and why it’s needed to improve and scale businesses.   

Mindi Chahal

L’Oréal and Mail Newspapers are among those that are launching services and ensure there is a culture of getting closer to and understanding customers in a non-generic way.

These brands are at different stages of the process of using customer insight to create value for people that buy and use the services and products they offer.

For example, today (1 October) DMG Media, formally Associated Newspapers, launched a new customer portal for Mail Newspapers, which includes The Daily Mail, Mail Online and Mail on Sunday. 

The portal, called MyMail, will give its customers a better experience but importantly will also allow the business to understand its readers’ behaviours and preferences and will be able to analyse demographics.

Kevin Beatty, chief executive officer at DMG Media, says: “Our customers in the past have only been known to us generically, it’s not enough. In order to do what we want to do going forward we have to know our customers specifically.”

This effort can be seen in the launch of the new portal, which will help the newspaper understand the lifetime value of customers and how they use different products and services. 

Another example is L’Oréal. The beauty brand hired its first UK chief marketing officer to be a catalyst for focusing on the consumer. 

L’Oréal UK managing director Michel Brousset told Marketing Week in an exclusive interview that he believes profit, loss and market share take care of themselves as long as brands remain relevant to customers. 

A year into the role Brousset explains that although he has a general understanding of consumers, “it’s quite a different thing to have a granular, meaningful level of understanding as to why British consumers behave in a certain way”.

The move towards understanding consumer needs according to local environment and how a person interacts with a brand will be increasingly important, particularly as personalisation becomes high on the agenda.

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