Data – a marketer’s brave new world

Like pieces of a puzzle falling into place, last week’s issue delivered a view on two of the most important building blocks for modern, customer intelligence-driven marketing.

The customer experience feature (’Why the customer is the kingmaker’, MW 3 November) set out a powerful argument in favour of investing in and improving every consumer’s interactions with a brand. Deliver it with consistency, in a way that is personal and relevant to every individual, and the evidence supporting commercial success is hard to deny.

Next was James Frost of Nectar’s observation that “data is the backbone” of any good loyalty scheme (’Time to play incentive card’, The Debate). Frost is right that in return for providing the brand with data consumers need a reason to swipe, but why does this reason have to be a purely monetary one? Rewards began as cash back and money-off vouchers, but why can’t the promise of a better customer experience begin to reshape this exchange?

Doesn’t emotional attachment and trust in the brand gained from the enhanced experience engage the customer for longer than any cash back or money-off vouchers?

Waitrose may be late to the party with the launch of its loyalty scheme, but it could easily jump ahead of the field by tapping into this insight, with the objective of delivering a better experience, unique to each of its customers. Once we have this conduit into the minds and hearts of the people who want to connect with us as brands, a brave new world awaits.

Ian Stockley
Managing director, Indicia

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