Big Data made its appearance in relational marketing’s vocabulary about 2 years ago. With the amount and quality of information directly obtained from clients, environments and markets, we quickly realized that Big Data could generate indicators to help decision-making and also customizing business relationship with the customer. We can find out what they did, where they did it, when, on what platform, etc. to better position our marketing efforts. It is one thing to know that we can collect an impressive amount of information. Now, how do we use Big Data in relational marketing?
Ten years ago, we started to talk about relational marketing. At the time, it seemed like a brand new concept but it was always there, it was just the way of doing it that changed. I remember a lecture I gave in the early 2000s about it. During this conference, I demonstrated the link between the old general store and relational marketing.
In the general store
Formerly, and still today in some rural areas, there are small grocery stores whose owners and employees know the name of each of their client. You know the kind of small shop where you may not find all brands but where the service is extraordinary and personalized. When a regular customer enters this general store, employees are on the lookout for his needs. They know him, ask him questions about his family, offer him things, show him new products, etc. There is a clear relationship between the customer and the company.
Since the early 2000s
Relational marketing, as it is now known, is actually a systematization of this proximity. The information is now collated in a computer environment rather than in people’s heads. Today, as the customer is not always faithful to one store and the employees are always different, it is very difficult to create this personal business relationship. Companies like Metro have adapted their model and now offer loyalty cards. This program offers personalized coupons to each customer according to previous purchases. Client knowledge finds itself at the center of the technological system. In the case of loyalty cards, it is possible to know the products purchased, the shopping cart value, the visiting time, the location, etc. All of this data is ultimately used to better understand the customer and define the persona to improve the offer.
Smart Data, is this new? No, marketing is not being reinvented once again. Smart Data is based on taking information obtained from the client and separating what is important from what is not. It is to respond quickly to a behavior according to specific indicators. As a clerk in the general store, you do not need to remember everything a client says or does. Some information is not required to establish the relationship. Smart Data is the means by which we analyze Big Data (purchases, behaviors, interests and demographics) to create useful indicators to customize communications. Here are some examples of indicators created from Big Data:
- Level of customer engagement (opened and clicked emails)
- Buying habits (day, time, platform)
- Customer purchase cycle (frequency, stage)
The ultimate goal of Smart Data is reacting at the right time with the right message to the right customer and generating additional revenue. If you want to discuss what Smart Data can do for your business, contact us.