Big data is the talk of the town nowadays; among marketers, of course. We know there’s a lot of it and that’s a big challenge for brands. We also know that there are huge opportunities that all this data offers. You get to really know your customer, their preferences and what they just won’t stand for.
The data can help marketers inform marketing, products and even customer service. But, we’re hearing very little about brands that are actually putting big data to use on an ongoing basis. Yes, we’ll hear of a campaign that was informed by data. But there aren’t a lot of brands that are talking about how they’re transforming the way they do business because of data.
CMO.com decided to investigate. We’ve got two great examples of brands that are truly embracing big data.
Volvo Cars of North America
Joe Barbagallo, social media manager at Volvo told CMO.com that his company is currently in the midst of further building out its big data tool suite. Volvo’s using a licensed system that ties together social, CRM and customer care so that no matter who the customer is speaking to, they can be certain that they are speaking to Volvo. And, inversely, Volvo can also ensure that whether you are receiving a communication from CRM or social, the company is speaking to you on your own terms and ensuring that you are receiving the right communication at the right time.
Volvo’s digital, social and CRM teams are very data focused. “We have a well-defined set of KPIs that we bump our campaigns and initiatives against on a monthly basis and are constantly tweaking and optimizing accordingly,” Barbagallo told CMO.com. “We’ve worked very hard to wrap the right analytics and triggers around our customer touch points in all our channels to ensure that the data they are feeding back to us empowers us to make smart decisions on what is and isn’t working and how we could do a better job at getting customers further down the purchase funnel.”
To ensure that the company is on the right track, its marketing department has monthly meetings with its agencies (creative and media) to review the analytics as a group and have a dynamic conversation on what is and isn’t working, Barbagallo explained. Some of the bigger goals for Volvo’s big data initiatives really rely on giving the carmaker a high level view on the customer and being able to serve them the right message/offer at the right time.
“We want to be sure that we are attracting the right customer as well with a high propensity to convert,” Barbagallo said. “With the end goal being a sale, of course. We really rely on our agency partners to help us digest the data we receive and make it actionable. The key to making this a success is being as integrated as possible both on the corporate marketing side as well as on the agency side. It’s working well for us but as marketers, we’re never done. We’re always testing, learning and optimizing.”
When most people hear big data, they don’t think about a hair salon. However; data plays a big role for Great Clips and how the hair salon chain operates. The biggest way that data plays a role at Great Clips is that is helps the brand market smarter, said Kasey Skala, digital communications manager at the company.
In fact, Great Clips has an advantage over other types of retailers on a few fronts -- its data flows across its entire system, while POS data at most big box retailers is restricted to one particular location. “This allows us to gather and analyze an incredible amount of data so we truly know our customers,” Skala told CMO.com. “Where this comes in from a marketing standpoint, is we can market intelligently. We know our customers haircut cycles, we know which customers only come in with coupons, we know which customers don't need to be discounted and we know the medium that drove that customer into our salon--print, digital, online, partner promotion, whatever it may be."
For example, if a customer’s haircut cycle is every 4-5 weeks. If it’s week four and that customer hasn’t visited a Great Clips salon, and the company knows he is price sensitive, the brand will send out the proper activation at the proper price point on the proper medium. According to Skala, this cuts downs on cost, increases profitability and allows Great Clips to market during slow times and pull back during peak times.
“Every customer is unique to Great Clips and data allows us to create a personable, one-to-one relationship with our customers,” Skala said.