Using data insight and technology to drive sales, marketing and operational performance

The landscape – Today’s Challenge

Today Brands and Retailers have a greater challenge than ever before. In a customer centric marketplace, the rise of convenience, multi channel touch points, consumer buying power and decreasing brand loyalty, it is easy to be left behind. Data Insight can give businesses the competitive edge.

To stay ahead of competitors, businesses need to understand their customers completely. Appreciate current behaviour, be aware of patterns of interaction and recognise or predict future patterns of behaviour and potential trends. If you are able to achieve this, you will be in a position to change to accommodate customer’s needs as and when they occur.

Gone are the days that you could rely on past performance or customers continuing to buy from you. Today consumers will shop around quickly and efficiently, hunting for the best spec, price and solution on their terms and in their own time frame. Businesses need to be able to adapt and change in line with their customer needs and ensure their business strategy meets this end.

To achieve this, businesses need to employ techniques to improve current business strategies; marketing, sales and operational, to ensure they stay ahead of their rivals and accommodate consumer trends.

An effective, tried and tested method is using data insight and technology to define, plan and execute a more refined and robust strategy.

What is data Insight?

Data insight or customer insight as it’s commonly known in the marketing arena, is ‘an interpretation of trends in human behaviours which aims to increase effectiveness of a product or service for the consumer, as well as increase sales for mutual benefit’.

Data Insight

The challenge today for consumer brands is to relate and engage with customers despite the change in shopping habits and the omnichannel explosion. This has provided an opportunity for businesses to harness a wealth of data which, if analysed intelligently, can provide a real competitive advantage.

Data Insight Driving Strategy

If companies can blend both internal and external data, store, online and mobile they can analyse and understand customer behaviour, start to predict future patterns and appreciate how this will affect customer habits. An informed knowledge of customers can help transform the buying experience to the benefit of the brand owner but also the retailer and the customer.  The more you know of your customers, the better you can communicate and tailor your offering to drive sales and profitability.

Core to this philosophy is the belief that data is the engine that drives all forms of sales, marketing and operational activity.

The Data Engine

The Data Engine - Driving Data Insight

Using Technology to drive insight

Technology has dramatically improved techniques and methodologies that aid data insight and marketing implementation. The rise of sophisticated marketing platforms and data visualisation tools are two key examples that we employ as strategic consultants.

Marketing Platforms

Online marketing platforms allow businesses to hold customer data in one central place and deploy marketing campaigns directly. These systems are capable of capturing all outgoing and incoming customer touch points, communications, interactions and sales. Online platforms provide great tools for real time interactions and engagement with the audience making data meaningful so brands stay relevant. Engaging communications provide an improved customer experience which, in turn, can help sales conversions.

Data Visualisation

Technology has also opened the door for insight and analytics to be interpreted by everyone, not just the data savvy and GIS users of yesterday. The ability to visualise complex data has literally opened the eyes for many, bringing data to life and providing insight that can be used to underpin companywide decisions.

Data visualisation helps marketers interpret key patterns of data, market penetration, identify hot spot areas of customer behaviour, clarify best prospect opportunities and make sense of geo, mobile, online and economic trends.

Data mining and mapping tools such as our in house proprietary tool, Marketview, enable companies to understand the geographical spread of their on and offline customers creating reports and maps that are fast to produce and easy to understand.

The ability to layer customer data such as sales or volume figures with external marketplace data such as social demographics, drive-time, catchment areas and competitor locations puts your customers and marketplace in context.

Functionality to drill down, visualise, manipulate and report on your data at both a macro and a micro level means that your strategic omnichannel activities can be implemented in a highly targeted and localised way.

Drive-Time Catchment

Consumer Profiling - MOSAIC

Consumer Profiling – MOSAIC

Catchment Analysis

Catchment Profile Report

Consumer Heat mapping

Data Driven Insight Case Study

A good case study to demonstrate the use of data insight and technology to drive sales, marketing and operational planning is our work with Coca Cola Enterprises.

Coca-Cola is one of S2’s long-standing and most valued clients. Like many large organisations, Coke did not suffer from a lack of data, but from the intelligent use of this data to drive company development.

The aim was to produce a fully operational, single customer view, retail outlet database that enabled world class, store level execution. This involved building a complete universe of outlets that either currently sell or have the potential to sell soft drinks.

The simple mantra of getting Coke’s products into the hands of the right people, via the right outlets, in the right locations was essential in driving a return on Coke’s marketing spend.

To achieve this objective, it was vital to have an understanding of the dynamics of the Total Marketplace. By combining Coca-Cola’s (and their retail customers) own sales and volume data with external consumer, workplace, competitor and retail geo-demographics; cross-channel marketing activity can be strategically planned and then implemented at a highly targeted, localised level.

S2 developed the retail outlet database using Coca-Cola’s UK store level customer database files from multiple sources then cleansed and enhanced with Industry Type, Employee Size and Employee Mix to create a clearer, more informative, single customer view database.

We then profiled this database to establish universe of net new prospects that matched the characteristics of Coca-Cola’s existing customers. Using external consumer geo-demographics, lifestyle and behavioural, workplace, proximity driver (e.g. places of interest), travel networks and retail data and S2’s own data mapping and reporting software, Segmentz, S2 then segmented over 500,000 outlets into 16  ‘shopper driven’ consumer environments. S2 has also worked with Coke to develop a more informed ‘Push and Pull’ strategy designed to drive traffic into retail outlets.

As a result of combining internal facts on outlets, (e.g. EPOS sales), with what we know of the external environment, Coke now has a much broader strategic perspective on its business and the opportunities open to it. For the full case study visit S2-CCE

To conclude

Data insight and technology can provide invaluable tools to drive sales and marketing strategy that provides improved return on investment. The key though, with any data analysis and technologically derived insight, is to convert this analysis into meaningful action. Data is and always will be valuable, if you can translate it into actionable insights.

Find out how we can harness your customer data .