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Unlocking The Power Of Customer Analytics

Customer analytics aren't new, but represent significant opportunities

Big Data
16March

Knowing about your customers is essential to selling to them properly, and making them happy.. This is not a new concept, it is the same as when you walkinto your local shop, they know your name, and the paper you read. The difference today is that multi-national companies know about each one of their millions of customers..

One of the earliest proponents of this was Dunnhumby, who in 1994 brought the Tesco Clubcard programme to life in the UK, that saw the Supermarket become the largest in Britain ‘export' the brand across the world. The introduction had a dramatic effect, with the scheme being responsible for a 3% step change in like-for-like sales in the decade after its introduction. After the initial trial in three stores, the chairman of Tesco at the time, Lord MacLaurin, famously said 'What scares me about this, is that you know more about my customers in three months than I know in 30 years.’

Since this success over 20 years ago, customer analytics has become one of the central pillars of companies across the world. This has been helped by the use of more in-store loyalty systems, but more dramatically due to the spread of the internet and how customers use websites.

One of the best modern examples of this is how Amazon have used data to become the dominant eCommerce site in the world, they use this data to not only make sales, but again, to keep their customers happy.

This is nothing new to Amazon, given that as far back as 2003 they were using suggestion engines to pick out products similar to what customers had already bought. They have also created complex and CRM systems to make sure that when a customers calls them to get help, the client representative has all the information they need in front of them in order to make the best possible decision, which keeps the customers happy and more likely to use the site again.

However, the power of this data is not only in how one company can leverage it to sell or keeps its customer's happy. We have seen with companies like Facebook and Google, that the use of this data has allowed them to create some of the most complex and effective personalized advertising campaigns the world has seen.

This is arguably where customer analytics has had the biggest impact on the world today - providing the best possible advertising platforms for companies. Even companies who use the information for their own good often share this data with 3rd party companies to help their own advertising. It is even written into the T&Cs of Amazon that they can share data with 'Affiliated Businesses We Do Not Control.’

The goal of collecting and analyzing huge amounts of data is ultimately to make a picture that is as complete as possible about customers, which means that in addition to the information collected by the company themselves, it is often supplemented with information from companies like talend or BDEX. Through sharing data between companies, a more complete portrait is formed, not only in one company, but across an entire spectrum of companies. Through this sharing, a more comprehensive knowledge base is formed all round and the potential for better marketing and better customer service across many organizations grows. 

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