The numbers never lie, says Junior Media Coordinator/Data Analyst, Danica Berjanovic.
Brands are continuously striving to manifest customer experiences in ways that are relevant and authentic. Data-driven marketing (Also applicable; data science, data analytics, smart data, insert your prefered term here) is enjoying the limelight as marketers are putting the age-old mentality of spray and pray to rest and waking up to realise the value of the sole individual; how does every individual identify with my brand, how does the individual interact with my brand, how can I make their experience more personalised?
Hold the applause, this isn’t a new concept. In early 2016, SMG Media Futures Survey urged companies to invest in personalisation and technologies that improve consumer experience to avoid declining advertising revenues.
Some brands have been in tune with smart data for a while. An early adopter of this was discount-store retailer Target. In 2002 the brand worked closely with statisticians to gather data in order to identify 25 key behavioural changes that occur at various stages of pregnancy. Target then turned these insights into relevant content, mailing offers to expecting mothers. By disguising baby and maternity offers amongst other, somewhat irrelevant, products customers didn’t feel uneasy about being obviously advertised to. Thanks to smart data, Target was able to discreetly attract a potential pool of customers without going all-or-nothing with specific targeting.
Since then, the application of predictive analytics and smart data heavily influences the strategic success of big-name brands. Take Netflix for example, it utilises real-time data analytics every day to gather insights about individual customer experience to answer the question, how can we make this experience perfect for you – this is why there are 33 million different versions of Netflix*.
Through this approach, Netflix gains insight not only into what you’re watching, but also how you’re watching. Are you a serial user and love a movie marathon, or are you more of a sprinter and binge watch to then quit Netflix for weeks at a time (guilty). All this data, in isolation is redundant. Powerful insights coupled with the right tools can help produce compelling content that puts the user at the centre of the experience. In this way, Netflix can embed relevant content that it knows will make you watch at least 15 hours of Netflix a month, and be less likely to hit that unsubscribe button.
Echoing the words of Wendy Walker from Intuit, brands have to be agile enough to adapt to a customer-centric mentality. At the core of this, understanding customer intent, customer preferences coupled with the individual experience is key. As a result, teams can implement the right tools to be proactive and anticipate consumer behaviour.
Let's consider The Iconic, the online fashion retailer is well known for implementing innovative online shopping solutions. As with Netflix, the Iconic has been putting data-driven decision making into action for years. Using a range of analytic methods, marketers can understand your go-to repeat brands, your purchasing behaviour and what you’re searching for. In this way, The Iconic blends key information with the right context to identify intent, and preferences to produce a personalised shopping experience that extends beyond the landing page – yes, I would like to buy that pair of jeans I was looking three days ago *adds to cart*.
We are only just reaching the tipping point and you can’t divorce yourself from common sense when it comes to understanding consumer behavior. In the words of author Joseph Pine, making sure product and service offerings are relatable to the individual audience is the root of brand authenticity, ensuring brands remain relevant, relentlessly.
*Not a joke.
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