Knowing the value of smart targeting doesn't require a leap of faith | Knowing the value of smart targeting doesn't require a leap of faith | DMA

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Knowing the value of smart targeting doesn't require a leap of faith


It’s gratifying being a CRM evangelist these days. I find that many of the congregations I’m preaching the value of big data to have already been converted and are ready to embark on the journey of enlightenment to a single view of the customer.

We all know that we can use big data (or even not so big data) to deliver highly personalised and tailored content to our customers – whether on a website, through email or via a call centre agent. The world of single customer view databases, algorithms and decisioning software makes this not only possible but expected by today’s consumer.

It’s never been easier to use data and digital to acquire customers, cross-sell products and services, and reach your most responsive customers though the best channels. However, the efficiency in speaking directly to individual customers is not the only thing that makes this kind of smart targeting mission critical digital. The transformational aspects of combining data and digital often manifest themselves in the physical processes and systems that help organisations meet their business objectives.

Many of the ideas around understanding who your best customers and prospects are have been around for a long time in B2B – with flesh-and-blood resources redeployed to pursue the highest-value targets. But high-value consumer products – such as new cars or homes – have similarly lengthy and complex sales funnels, where the single customer view data you use to automatically target your comms can also be applied directly to sales teams.

That’s why we’re helping Barratt Homes to use data from disparate sources such as website behaviour, profile information and demographics to stream prospects into those who have to be contacted immediately, those who need re-qualification and those who go into the tyre-kicking pot, sorry, I mean the nurture segment.

The principle doesn’t just apply to sales either. Amazon is the master of manipulating big data to enable smart targeting, having built one of the biggest businesses on the planet on the back of its suggestion algorithm. It’s got to the point now where it uses data to try to begin the delivery process before a customer has even bought the product!

By looking at the same buying patterns that will help refine that algorithm, Amazon can second-guess what your next purchase might be, and then ensure that item is available at a distribution centre near enough to guarantee you next-day Prime – or increasingly Instant – delivery.

But it’s by combining business and consumer needs where digital transformation really makes its mark. An example of this is at Disney World. MagicBand is a wristband with RFID technology that every guest is sent before they arrive. It is used across the whole park to control access to amusements, pay for items using contactless technology and give guests access to their hotel rooms. Parents can set transaction limits on their children's bands and customers can book ‘fast-track’ timeslots at attractions weeks in advance of their visit. During the visit, customers can touch in to join a queue for an amusement and then be notified when it’s their turn.

Disney benefits not only from the amazing effortless experience enjoyed by guests, but is also better able to manage park inventory and employee allocation – definitely removing any potential claims of them just being a Mickey Mouse operation.

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