No, You Don’t Need a Data Scientist Army to Understand Consumers

January 6, 2015
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While the idea of customer loyalty by no means a new concept and has been a fundamental focal point of brand strategy for decades, many brands are believing the spin that achieving this is more out of reach today than it was years ago. The root of this lies largely in the perpetuated narrative that only a special class of superior ‘data scientists’ have the ability to access, synthesize, segment and analyze the massive amount of multichannel data that constantly showers brands.

This is a myth.

While the idea of customer loyalty by no means a new concept and has been a fundamental focal point of brand strategy for decades, many brands are believing the spin that achieving this is more out of reach today than it was years ago. The root of this lies largely in the perpetuated narrative that only a special class of superior ‘data scientists’ have the ability to access, synthesize, segment and analyze the massive amount of multichannel data that constantly showers brands.

This is a myth.

Today’s advances in consumer management technology are facilitating a paradigm shift for brands to achieve authentic understanding and generate genuine loyalty from their best customers. For brands that are embracing this technology, loyalty has shifted from a reactive, “wait and see” approach to a proactive, “design and drive” initiative, free of data-head squads.

The Data Scientist Myth

The ability for brands to capture real-time consumer data is powerful and facilitates deeper customer understanding, if it can be captured, centralized, segmented and acted upon. However, transforming this intelligence into insight is a challenge that many have repeatedly been told requires massive investment in expertise in the form of deep data scientist teams.

It’s amazing how many brands fall for the myth that they need an army of data experts to understand their customers. As technology has advanced so has the ability for brands to identify, understand and engage their best customers without hiring a squad of Ivy League savants.

In fact, brands now have the ability to strategically understand their customers on deep, multidimensional, real-time levels based on their shopping actions and behaviors. This allows Marketing teams to craft and deploy personalized communications and engagements in real-time to motivate consumer actions that generate increased commitment and stronger loyalty.

Consumer management technology, which is essentially the next generation of CRM built specifically for Marketers, enhances the relevancy and efficacy of a loyalty program in order to build genuine relationships with customers by:

Centralizing Data from an array of complex channels spanning in-store, online, mobile and social.

Gaining Insight of customer tendencies, wants and needs based on their own activities and behaviors.

Identifying Customers of greatest value to strategically segment them for deeper understanding.

Strategically Engaging with campaigns leveraging gift, loyalty, rewards, promotions and referrals.

Measuring & Optimizing with actionable analytics on campaign performance and customer response.

Performance Pillars

The focus of consumer management technology is largely based on four pillars that support customer brand loyalty, including:

Data Streamlining: Alignment of Marketing and Operational systems for enhanced efficiencies and single-point data reliance.

Customer Intelligence: Deep, real-time understanding and segmentation of consumers based on their actions, behaviors and tendencies.

Actionable Insight: The ability to discover and identify customer opportunities that span lifetime value, frequency, spending and ROI.

Targeted Engagement: Personalized, omnichannel campaigns to motivate customers and drive behaviors.

An Advanced Advantage

As multichannel consumer intelligence becomes more readily accessible to brands through technology, the genuine power of loyalty programs will allow Marketers to deliver personalized experiences that are highly relevant to the customer.
Brands are now able to understand and strategically engage consumer demand moments and decision points, even as they shift in real-time, by having visibility and understanding into their ever-shifting actions and behaviors. The ‘heavy lifting’ to achieve this, like most daunting issues, is through the efficiency of technology advancement, not inefficient armies of data scientists.

Aside from building efficiencies and significantly reducing costs, this approach also allows the brand to develop highly personalized experiences with relevant engagements via appropriate channels, delivering value to customers, which enhances the experience, strengthens loyalty and even drives evangelism.