The 2022 Agenda: Sweating the asset of retailers’ first-party data

As we look ahead to 2022, Marketing Week has identified the key opportunities and challenges that will shape marketers’ roles. We are flagging what we think you should be spending your time and money on – and why, but equally it is a commitment from us to focus on these topics next year.

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Retailers are getting smarter about one of their core 21st century assets. Loyalty schemes, which have been growing in sophistication since Tesco launched its Clubcard in 1995, now hold an astonishing amount of first-party data from consumers.

The insight gleaned from this data highlights that, no matter how smart a direct-to-consumer (DTC) operation a brand can set up, retailers probably still know more about their customers. In a trend that is already in evidence from a number of key retailers that insight is set to be leveraged in more effective ways.

Tesco is to better monetise the data it holds from more than 20 million UK households by sharing “enriched insight” with suppliers through the launch of Tesco Media and Insight, powered by Dunnhumby. In practice this means a B2B drive to sell more ads on Tesco channels to suppliers, but Tesco also sees opportunities for brands to create tailored ranges or directly targeted messages.

Boots, meanwhile, created Boots Media Group, which will utilise the data from more than 17 million Advantage Card holders. The retailer will open up channels both online and in-store for brands to get more help with campaign planning and creative that will better meet customer needs.

Other retailers, and in particular those supermarkets with established loyalty schemes, are expected to follow suit. Even those which don’t have formal loyalty schemes have consumer data that could prove useful to brands.

While profit is one motive for this commercial use of data, it is not the only reason for it. Competition from online retailers – in particular Amazon – has opened the eyes of retail groups to the value of their data says Guillaume Bacuvier, CEO of Kantar Worldpanel and former CEO of Tesco Clubcard collaborator Dunnhumby.

“I’ve been witness to this question coming around all the time: how much more can I do with my data?” he told Marketing Week.



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