​How to feed the connected customer in the age of infobesity

Millward Brown Vermeer experts say organisations serious about remaining competitive need to better serve the connected customer by harnessing data insights

Today’s marketers are experiencing high levels of “infobesity” that can cause a disconnect between their brand and customers.

According to Millward Brown Vermeer CMO Marc de Swaan Arons, a rising challenge for businesses when it comes to being agile in the consumer insight-led environment is to effectively analyse the increasing volumes of data.

“I would describe today’s marketing environment as having a high level of infobesity,” he told CMO. “There’s too much information and there is a risk for marketers to be disconnected. So the challenge is to find out how to connect that and how to build true insights out of all those disconnected sources.”

While most organisations now have many transactions, marketing and research databases to tap into, it’s about integrating true insights of what drives people and what they need that fosters engagement, de Swaan Aarons said.

“At the same time, it is also about organising the data insights within the company and embedding them to a level where people invent stuff, create value and enhance customer interactions,” he said.

Millward Brown Vermeer is a global consultancy firm. To date, it has worked with a number of brands including Barneys, Red Bull and Dulux to leverage deep customer insights to improve the customer and brand experience.

One recent example de Swaan Arons highlighted was the firm’s collaboration with US financial services group, Verizon, which has 80,000 employees and a significant national reach.

“We worked on significant initiatives to bring everything the company knows together into what they call one source of truth,” he explained. “Because when you have infobesity, different people almost feel as though they have license to interpret the data in their own way and to serve their own purpose. The rigour of actually bringing all data forces together and then forcing a collaborative insights process and one cohesive view is making a big difference.”

On Australian shores, a small company doing this very well and making all the right efforts is vitamin company, Blackmores, Millward Brown Vermeer managing partner, Caspar Wright, claimed.

“It’s an absolutely great organisation with a super new CMO, who said it was looking into greater personalisation, but now technology is making it more possible,” he said. “In the past few years, off-the-shelf technology is making it possible for companies, big and small, to achieve this, without going through a $3 million IT development program with a consultancy.

“They can plug into personalisation and individualisation functionality to their digital offering, and really bring them to life.”

On a wider scale, the results of data-led personalisation speak for themselves. A recent study released by Millward Brown Vermeer, Insights2020, conducted in partnership with The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), ESOMAR, LinkedIN, Kantar and Korn Ferry revealed, 74 per cent of companies that over-perform on revenue growth create better customer experiences based on data-driven insights.

Based on 325 in-depth interviews with senior marketing and insights leaders alongside more than 100,000 industry-led interviews, the study showed 83 per cent of revenue growth over-performed link everything the company does to its brand purpose. Meanwhile, 62 per cent of over-performers leverage insights and analytics to drive consistency across all customer-touch points.

“The report showed companies that are able to drive customer-centricity across all disciplines out-perform their competitors,” de Swaan Arons said. “Importantly, companies that made customer-centricity a senior leadership responsibility also out-performed their competitors, as well as companies that create KPIs that are linked directly to customer-centric performance.”

But while the concept of shifting to being customer-centric is all the rage, de Swaan Arons stressed that doesn’t mean it’s being done well.

“While the journey is one everybody recognises as important, the effectiveness and progress is quite dramatically varying in degree,” he commented.

De Swaan Arons pointed out the number of customer touchpoints is now exploding and whether marketers like it or not, people are talking about their brands and in some instances, wanting to interact with them.

“It’s important to understand what trajectories customers are going through, what are the key influencing moments and when are the moments where they discuss things,” he said. “Social now is almost like a modern version of two neighbours speaking across the hedge, so it’s about marketers understanding for their category specifically, where the conversations are taking place and whether there is a relevant role they have to play in those conversations.”

The challenge is for brands to move away from simply a product offer to a complete experience.

“This includes products, or either personalised information that makes that product more relevant for you based on where you live, your climate, the people you interact with, or information that is more relevant to location touch points like where you’re travelling or whether you’re at home,” de Swann Arons said.

“Marketers need to understand what that decision-making journey is and what the role of their brand is.”

One example of a global brand doing this right, he said, is Nike, which is now doing more than just sell running shoes and shorts.

“Nike is going way beyond that in its digital offer, where the company makes no money, but builds enormous learning, and significantly, also loyalty,” he said. “They’re offering people very personalised advice around how to build a running schedule, how to prepare for a marathon, or where to run where they’re travelling.

“All these things come from analysing those key touchpoints and asking whether you can deliver with a clear purpose and you can we get more involved.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Is your customer experience program suffering bright shiny object syndrome?

You may have heard of ‘bright shiny object syndrome’. The term is used to describe new initiatives undertaken by organisations that either lack a strategic approach, or suffer from a failure to effectively implement.

Leveraging technology to stand out in the sea of sameness

The technology I'm talking about here is data and marketing automation. Current digital marketing methodology, much as it is practiced at Bluewolf, dictates the need for a strategy that does four things: Finds the right audience, uses the right channel, delivers the right content, and does all of that at the right time.

Eric Berridge

CEO and co-founder of Bluewolf, an IBM Company

Lead Management is very important part of the process. For anyone running Facebook Lead Ads I would recommend using this service.Get your...

Dirk Lo

How this fintech startup is improving content marketing and lead generation

Read more

I am agreeing with Mr. Tyron Hayes that a measured test-and-learn approach could be missing opportunities to not only better engage custo...

rush essay reviews

CMO interview: How Curtin University’s marketing chief is using test and learn to cope with complexity

Read more

Excellent!

Dr Sadasivan,US

Shakespeare shows data and creativity aren’t Montagues and Capulets

Read more

Great article! Agreed with all... Matthew Lerner, Deeps De Silva... When a company has a great product that solves customers needs, a gre...

James Tyler

Why marketers are embracing growth hacking techniques

Read more

Very good article, Social media analytics helps in problem identification. They can serve as an early warning system for negative custome...

BizVinu

Four ways to use social media to boost customer loyalty

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in