Retail marketing analytics need to leverage mobile as a channel

 In opinion

I attended a very interesting evening at the Institute of Directors in London on Monday on marketing analytics.

Speaking was Robert Diamond who is MD of Emnos, who run Europe’s largest loyalty program, and are competitors to Dunnhumby in the marketing analytics space.

In Robert’s excellent 50 minute presentation, he did not mention mobile once!  A mobile icon appeared on slide 15 in a section on promotions but that was the closest we got.

The focus of the talk was very much on retail analytics, and how Emnos collect and mine the data from Boots advantage card, Morrisons and Waitrose etc as a powerful tool for these companies and their suppliers.

I asked the first question after he spoke, and said simply that he had not mentioned mobile at all – and what was his view.

Robert said that he thought mobile would become an interesting channel, but he had “no idea” why this had not happened yet.

In Robert’s presentation, he outlined how marketing analytics can be used effectively to look at trends, buying patterns etc and it made me think back to an article in the Financial times in 2006 on the Tesco Clubcard titled “eyes in the till

This excellent article that I keep referring to and sending to others shows the incredible power of marketing analytics and profiling that Dunnhumby have used for Tesco Clubcard.  Imagine the power of this if the consumer actually told us what they liked instead of having to datamine millions of transactions to make an educated guess.

This will start to happen soon (going beyond what companies such as Blyk do so well for the 16-24 age group) to provide advertisers with highly relevant information about their customers that are provided by the customer – not guessed.

I also came across a relevant post by Russell Buckley titled “TV like it’s 1941“. Here Russell argues that as each communication medium emerges, we learn about the best bits from the previous one and innovate for the next, but we shouldn’t do exactly the same thing with each medium.  When TV came about, it was deemed “radio with pictures” and clearly we use TV in a very different way to radio.

I firmly believe that the next wave of advertising, via the mobile channel will greatly benefit from mobile marketing analytics.  Instead however of having to mine millions of transactions to segment customers into “groups” or lifestyles by intelligent guessing and processing, the consumer will actually tell us!

Why will they tell us what they do and don’t want to receive on their mobile? Because as smart marketers we will ask them permission to engage them, and then we will use what they have told us to devise smart and fun campaigns delivered when mobile.

As long as what we send them is related to their interests, my belief is that they will want to continue to receive these communications.  Tie this with a benefit and we may have gold!  What a concept!

Stay tuned to see what happens next in this exciting space.

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.