Imagine that you go into your usual bar, and next to that cold beer instead of the mixed nuts that Juan serves to the rest of the customers, he serves you a low-calorie chicken skewer because a week ago you showed him on Runtastic you’re training to beat your 5k record. Or when you go to pay for your new T-shirt for the summer in your usual store, upon scanning your loyalty card the salesperson warns you that the fabric of that T-shirt is not made from plastic waste like the last three T-shirts you bought. What about your commitment to ocean sustainability!?
Although it may sound like magic or coincidence, the truth is that both cases are clear examples of the use of first party data. While it is true that this is a term that is in vogue due to the imminent disappearance of cookies and third-party data (although Google has postponed until 2023 its changes in the collection of information), in a way, it’s value has been known since the 5th century BC. In “The Art of War” Sun Tzu extolled the value of first party data by urging to know your enemy: “Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated. If you are ignorant of your enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are the same. If you are ignorant of your enemy and yourself, you can be sure of being defeated in every battle.”
Today, almost 2,500 years later, technology and CRM tools such as Salesforce have become the best allies to win the battle for the consumer and know the preferences of our customers. In fact, a Harvard Business Review study indicates that 58% of marketers will invest in the next two years in consumer data access and 50% will invest in solutions to have a unified view of the customer. It is not surprising if we consider that we have moved from a stage in which the important thing was to capture the data to a new one that involves its efficient management, since, according to Salesforce, the forecast is that by 2025 companies will be using up to 45 different data repositories.
And given that investment in data management will continue to grow in the coming months, the challenge now is not only to invest in first party data, but also to be able to extract new insights from this information to create valuable interactions and messages personalized to the tastes and needs of our customers. Thanks to this 360º knowledge of our customers, it is necessary to find the right micro moments to accompany the customer throughout the customer journey, from the product search and comparison of items through to purchase and payment.
What was the webinar about?
As the speakers in our webinar on first party data for the retail and consumer goods sectors explained, in order to capture this first party data it is necessary to design a strategy that both complies with data protection regulations and puts the customer at the center. For example, you can create sites and microsites for different brands or specific events (such as the Euro Cup or the Olympic Games), promote loyalty plans, encourage data collection via QR codes printed on packaging, labels or advertisements, or simply through contests and interactions with consumers on social networks to better understand their habits, tastes and preferences.
For example, one customer may prefer receive an SMS with the confirmation of a purchase in a store only when it exceeds a certain amount, while they may want to receive a weekly email with a breakdown of all their purchases, and only receive a call their mobile to inform them that a fraudulent use of their card has been detected, not to sell them a new service.
So what are consumer brands doing?
To help in this deeper understanding of the user and their preferences from first party data, an interesting option for consumer and retail brands is to encourage customers to interact on social networks or apps from Social Login. When you register with your social network account, instead of filling out a form or having to memorize a password, the user is asked for consent to access personal data in alignment with data protection laws (RGPD).
Thanks to Xeerpa’s Social Profiling tool, up to 400 attributes from social networks can be analyzed to better understand the consumer. Moreover, users can be analyzed individually, as well as a part of the aggregate trends and tastes of the entire database obtained through the social login that we are creating. This allows us to create demographic and social segmentations, in order to further customize our app, product or service to the tastes of those people, or make hyper-personalized campaigns to their preferences.
A good D2C (direct-to-consumer) strategy is not just about creating a new channel to sell products, but about designing the infrastructure that will drive intelligent decision making for the business. In the end, our experience bringing value to the more than 200 companies we have helped in their digital transformation is that companies that have a direct relationship with consumers understand what buyers want.
Clients who are already applying it
Our experience in the retail and consumer world with brands such as Cafés Candelas, Mango, Zamora Company, Maxxium or Grupo Ágora, has given us a solid knowledge of the commercial processes of the sector. We understand how customer service or demand generation processes work to help clients get the most out of their data by putting the consumer and people at the center of our strategy. And at S4G Consulting we do this by working on four basic pillars: a strategy that aligns the organization; people prepared to execute the strategy; defined processes that tell us how to do it; and technology that scales and supports the processes.
The goal is to recognize individual preferences as opportunities, and to do so, it is essential to collect data from various sources and generate dashboards that consolidate all real information in a single source, taking advantage of the qualitative insights that artificial intelligence can provide. Thus, AI makes it easier to measure every action, use intelligent analytics to understand program effectiveness and discover avenues for continuous improvement to tailor the channel, message and content to personalize the consumer experience at scale.
However, it is sometimes necessary to find a balance between the information we have and the suggestions we make to the consumer to not intimidate or overwhelm consumers with information we have about them. Accompanying each message of these micro-moments with different calls to action in order to have metrics on the interaction with consumers throughout the buying process helps control this issue. Moreover, with the use of applications such as clienteling, we can provide the person interacting with the customer with a complete 360-degree record of their purchase history and tastes in order to make recommendations and suggestions such as the ones we give as an example at the beginning of the post.
The combination of technology and first party data allows us to get to know our customers better and provide them with value when and how they need it. In this knowledge process, there will be campaigns with less or more success that will have to be analyzed and optimized, and the customer profile will have to be enriched… At the end of the day, as chef Alain Ducasse said, “it is important not to confuse fusion cuisine with confusion cuisine, which is what many chefs have done by simply mixing nonsense”.
And precisely to avoid making these mistakes due to lack of knowledge of our customers, why settle for the soup du jour when you can have the full tasting menu? At S4G we are open to your unique menu needs and would love to help you know your customers better and launch more effective marketing campaigns. Get in touch with us.