Never Stop Listening

produce shotNever stop Listening

As she’s scanning organic bananas or buckwheat kernels at the checkout the assistant at local health food store strikes up a conversation. She’s curious to know if the bananas are just for making smoothies and what the customer uses the buckwheat for. These seemingly insignificant interactions are hardly worth remembering and yet over time they spark ideas for new menu items to be introduced at the in-store cafe and give rise to opportunities to better serve her community of customers.

Good marketing starts with the customer’s needs and wants, not with the company’s emergency.

A great marketing strategy is geared towards creating lasting connections instead of simply being focused on reaching short term targets.

The gifted marketer doesn’t simply try to sell what’s in stock today. She strives to understand what her customer will want tomorrow and then creates the culture and momentum to deliver that.

If your success and profits are by-product of satisfied customers, it stands to reason that your priority is to matter, not simply to make and sell.

The challenge that many organisations have is understanding what matters to customers, and rapidly transferring that understanding into developing products and services that matter to customers.  Don’t get me wrong, being on the shop floor and interacting with customers is a critical part of marketers and leaders’ role. Good retailers still spend a day or two a week out in shops, and Terry Leahey in Tesco formalized this with every leader spending a week in store: TWIST, Tesco Week In Store Together, starting with himself.

Using Data-driven technology can harness the power of your colleagues and customers to listen intensively to customers and anticipate their needs at even more scale.

At Coop we starting a Listen Act and Fix programme where we gathered ideas from colleagues and used these to understand and prioritise problems to fix.

At Sainsbury’s “Tell Justin” was a colleague crowdsourced ideas generation programme where 150,000 colleagues could write to Justin King the CEO with ideas. He saw every idea and they were passed to senior managers to review. Every Idea earned a certificate for the colleagues and a simple thank you from Justin. The best ideas when they were implemented were celebrated through the company.

At Starbucks in USA they have taken this idea further to crowdsource ideas from customers. My Starbucks Idea created a digital portal and crowdsources suggestions to improve service/experience and lets users vote for their favourite ideas. Every idea is responded to by management and customers are kept involved in development, through digital media or you-tube style updates.  Ideas such as writing name on the cup, or even suggesting baristas taught the basics in sign language are being seriously reviewed.

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5 ways hard-headed leaders promote innovation

retail leaders

I have known many CEOs and CMOs over my career. The best ones created innovative transformational cultures. Many tried. Some failed to comprehend the definition of the word itself; others lacked the vital leadership traits to inspire creativity and implement great ideas. Those who were adept at driving innovation and sustaining it over the long haul had one thing in common: they were hard-headed.

Their tough-mindedness came from an unshakable belief that innovation is critical to corporate survival, and that without powerful and constant change, innovation would be elusive. These trailblazers were innovative leaders, but surprisingly some of them weren’t creative, themselves. That didn’t matter because they were good a recognizing great ideas and welcoming change. No change, no innovation.

So, how do unshakable leaders create change and how to they sustain the innovation outcome?

  1. They unsettle the organization. There’s a host of companies that get things done, control performance, spot problems and deliver their budgets. But the structures, the processes and the people that keep things ticking along can snuff good ideas and block movement through the system. Innovative leaders appreciate that there is a difference between what’s needed to run a business and what’s needed to foster creativity. This ethic prevents excessive layering from killing ideas before they reach the top.
  2. They’re hardheaded about strategy.  Leaders who embrace innovation have a pretty clear idea of the kind of competitive edge they’re seeking. They’ve thought hard about what’s practical and what’s not. So the approach is not wishy-washy, but focused and driven. When this methodology brings results, employees become disciples of the strategy and the culture that facilitates execution.
  3. They make innovation a priority in the “walk” as well as the “talk.” When executive teams demonstrate innovative thinking and practices, the rest of the organization is clear on direction. This facilitates coherent cross-functional teamwork and an innovative modus operandi that encourages diverse viewpoints.
  4. They take note of what’s already going on with a view to balancing creative thinking with the discipline of assessing solutions and their implementation. The best backdrop for spurring innovation is knowledge – knowing the business cold. Good ideas often flow from the process of looking at customers, competitors, and the business as a whole.
  5. They appreciate that not many ideas work the first time, so they’re prepared to praise failure, move on, or try again until the company gets it right. From there, innovative leaders marshal resources behind a few winners and then execute like the SKY Cycle team

Innovative leaders are a special breed. They aren’t as interested in “minding the store” as they are about “opening new stores.” Nor are they shy to admit to controlling strategic direction, influencing the culture, and monitoring the process and practice that unleashes business’s most elusive success factor.

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Data driven Easyjet flys easy

easyjet4Data Pulse # 434

Removing Friction in the customer journey to make it easier is critical for future success, and is important as a way of telling your Brand story , particularly if you are called EasyJet. Digital transformation can accelerate this change if applied with a clear focus on the commercial goals combined with deep understanding of the customer journey .

Carolyn McColl at Easyjet made great strides at using digital technology to transform the organisation making it easier for their customers to travel, simpler for their colleagues and cheaper for the organisation. They started with a clear understanding of the commercial goal: More customers flying more often on Easyjet, and developed a series of customer propositions that made it easier to fly driven around the key hardware that most travellers provide themselves: The Smartphone.

Easyjet app developed with key functionality

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1) Book Flight

2) My Flights Booked

3) My Flights Tracked

4) Mobile Check-in and Mobile Boarding Passes.

5) Option to book HireCare & Hotel.

All personalised through MyEasyjet traveller registration , that uses customer data held, (including passport, address credit card details ) geolocation of all data, previous flights searched and taken to make it easier for booking.

I have just headed off skiing flying Easyjet:

  1. The email alerts prior to travelled felt timely & relevant: adding personal information, and checking.
  2. The mobile boarding pass removes friction in finding a printer to print a boarding pass and then not losing the boarding pass as you travel through the airport .
  3. The Flight Status monitor is an easy way of seeing ahead of leaving for the airport if flights are delayed or reassurance.

Easier Self Serve Baggage Drop.

Easyjet now have self serve baggage drop in Manchester as well as Gatwick , which makes it easier and quicker to drop off baggage rather than queuing

What Friction Points Next?

TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT

I would appreciate Easyjet helping me get to the airport and then to my onwards destination. It would be easy to partner / connect with Google or Citymapper to provide live travel options on drive times, Trains/ buses to catch, or even a link to Uber to get a ride to and from the airport.

WALK THROUGH AIRPORT STRESS FREE.

I would really appreciate being walked through the airport with digital alerts that help me understand which gate to go to , the time to gate, and alerts on how busy it is at anyone time.  This technology is available and has been piloted in London City Airport by Dan Byles and the team at PlanetIT. So watch out for a digital concierge helping you through the airport and ensuring you have enough time and and not be rushed.

Eat, Drink and Shop at your pace.

I’ll even be able to order ahead and have my Starbucks coffee and porridge waiting for me as I arrive through security !

I am a demanding customer but I am really just like everyone else just more vocal.

Good Luck to Johan Lundgren , new CEO easyjet in accelerating the use of data even further to make easyjet even easier.

Segmentation is a tool to grow customer numbers

netfix house of cardsdata pulse #37

Delivering the most relevant, inspirational messaging and experiences through advanced segmentation and targeting is a key advanced use of data. Segmentation itself is relatively straight forward, we all do it all the time. The skill for CMO lies in bridging the technical teams and the business imperatives to develop segmentation that delivers on commercial objectives

Netflix is an organisation that uses data in three of the advanced states. Netflix micro-tagging of vast content archives allowed creation of nearly 77,000 film segments, rich data, views, searches , times, pauses and more is used to build behavioural profiles and predictive algorithms give uniquely targeted recommendations.

The segmentation techniques are not dissimilar to the segmentations that Tesco, Sainsbury’s , Coop  and Asda built for segmenting customers. Both cluster users based on attributing product features to films / products and then clustering film watched/ products bought using analytics.

The difference is the Volume, Velocity and Veracity of data used.

Coop Food apply 7 segments to members annually,

Netflix create 77,000 segments on daily basis, continually refining which segment members are in so better able to predict your best next film.

More complex isn’t always better, as organisations need to WALK before they can RUN, and align people and processes before they build more complexity. Asda is now using customer segmentations and tools and processes for building ranges and promotional plans, and continually building and refining, as well as segmenting customer communication to improve the Customer Experience

Customer focus, data-driven to deliver commercial imperatives.

Building more sophisticated segmentations will develop but add value if they are aligned to deliver commercial objectives, so creating strategic and operational capabilities

 

 

Dunkin Donuts Data Perks

dunkin donuts coffee and donut

Dunkin Donuts are just beginning to establish themselves in UK but in USA are the largest coffee retailer, and have applied data driven analytics and technology effectively to improve the customer journey.

A coffee and a Donut is one of the most popular calls, and is the mainstay of this convenience foodservice retailer.

Dunkin Donuts recognised the key to convenience retailing lay in the palm of their customers hands and build a customer journey revolving around the smart phone. They created an app based journey where customers could pre-order, collect and pay for their Dunkin Donut. It started with a minimum credible product, simple sign-up and sign-in and has developed into one of the most recognised programmes in USA.

. They understood the customer journey not in part but fully and recognised they were a convenience foodservice retailer and making a coffee and a donut easy for customers would drive more customers to make more visits.

Dunkin Donuts wanted to reward loyal guests in a fast and convenient manner, and provide an overall superior customer experience. Very similar to the goals that Whole Foods had in mind when launching its own loyalty program.

Understanding the Commercial Goals: Dunkin Donuts used advanced analytics to understand the commercial imperatives, and what would best drive them. They recognised that there was a bigger upside from increasing visits and number of visits that slightly increasing the average basket. ( There are only so many coffees and donuts you can eat in one sitting , but it’s important to be the coffee house of choice when there is a choice of 2-3 on the street.

Design a Customer experience that delivers the commercial imperative: They were clearly focusing on driving additional visits from additional customers because they designed a DD Perks programme that rewarded frequency vs average basket.

The Points based reward Rewarded Frequency: Assuming people ordered a coffee and a donut they earned points which became a free coffee every 10-20 visits.  High value to the consumer and relatively low cost to Dunkin Donut.

They also made it easy and intuitive to sign up, and in addition to the basic points structure, Dunkin’ also included features to drive more sign-ups. Sign up on an app downloaded onto their phone,

Make it easy to get to the first reward Customers get a free reward when they join and on their birthday,. That emotional feeling of drinking a free coffee prompts more usage of Dunkin Donut

Make it more rewarding: once the first reward has been claimed targeted offers for incentives and bonus points based on consumer behaviour enable fast rewards accumulation

Make it Easy to Use / Pay Customers must pay with a registered DD payment card at participating locations, or more importantly customers can connect their DD cards to their phone, which enables mobile payments and gets more customers (hopefully) to download the Dunkin’ mobile app.

One last benefit of the program is that customers can share rewards with friends, which is high on many customers’ lists as a desirable loyalty program feature.

Technology developments to make it Easier :  with the onset of Apple Pay, Dunkin Donuts enable mobile ordering through its app. Customers on their way to Dunkin’ Donuts can get their order in quicker, and Dunkin’ can speed up its line. In addition, Dunkin’ also announced interest in Apple Pay as a way to make payments easier for consumers

 

Three key outtakes for success:

  1. Be Clear on the commercial imperative: frequency or average spend
  2. Make it simple, rewarding to use
  3. Integrate across the whole customer experience to make it easy for the customer

Dunkin-Donuts shop

Tech City Coffee

starbucks shop

Understanding customers better has always been critical. Identifying the heart of the commercial challenge and developing customer led solutions to solve them is critical.

Meeting customers needs and simplifying the customer experience using data and digital is a key skill of the new Chief Marketing Officer and delivering the most relevant, inspirational messaging and experiences through advanced segmentation and targeting is a skill every CMO must ensure is delivered.

Starbucks do that

Starbucks carries only 200SKUs but has managed to meet the needs of customers with relevant offers and communications whoever or wherever you are. 

How?

Starbucks Influencing Wheel

Starbucks created a segmentation for customers by day of week, time of day and purchasing details, creating the Starbuck’s Influencing Wheel: which helps frame the problem in terms of what they know about a customer.  Transaction data allows Starbucks to know what behaviours can be observed at purchase time. External f

  1. ENTERPRISE Influences / Transaction data allow Starbucks to know what behaviours can be observed at purchase time ( Food, Beverage, in-store experience etc.)
  2. EXTERNAL Influences ( Weather, Competitors, Events, Community) may impact the way customers behave so Starbucks collected data to simulate local conditions that may affect purchase behaviour.
  3. CUSTOMER Characteristics ( occupation, demographic, need state, day part, media channel preferences etc.)  Not all behaviours can be observed in a transaction so Starbucks deploy .a social listening strategy in order to capture some aspects of a customers lifestyle and how products& services may fit into that lifestyle

starbucks influencing wheel

Customer needs for coffee on way into work, is different to lunchtime or afternoon during the week, and again different to weekend morning coffee. This data is combined with open data to give highly tailored and timely communications with live triggers- offers in the right place at the right time. Arriving at Manchester Piccadilly rail station for early (5-55am)  train to London I get an alert on my phone to pick up a Starbucks coffee for the train. and it really does taste sweet that early in the morning…..

Starbucks also improved the customer experience by being one of the first retailers using a digital app that allows payment through Apple pay or creating a Starbucks wallet that is automatically topped up.

Starbucks are leading the way in delivering the power of value based customer delivery, leveraging data driven analytics and digital technology to drive L4L growth.

Uber focused on data

uber

Uber is a people logistics service that uses a matchmaking model to connect customers directly with drivers to reduce prices for customers by optimising load capacity for drivers. It is now available in 53 countries and more than 200 cities and is revolutionising logistics and service using data. .

The app automatically detects the user’s position using GPS – so ‘riders’ can book a taxi with a single press of a button. Users can get an estimate of their fare by entering their destination. This is calculated by algorithms which consider the distance, prices of similar journeys, and the current Uber price rate.

uber app

Uber uses an algorithmic approach to account for differences in supply and demand in different areas. when supply out-strips demand prices are low, when demand increases the algorithm drives up pricing to encourage more drivers out and optimise revenue. This is called ‘surge pricing’. When demand outstrips supply in a certain area, surge pricing is applied and the usual fare rate will be multiplied appropriately. Users will be notified of surge pricing on booking, and can cancel the trip if they do not want to pay the increased fare.

When a the taxi is booked, a temporary bridge is created between customer and driver data allowing them to make contact and see each other’s location. Once the journey is over and the transaction complete, the exchange of data ends.

Uber scaled rapidly through partnership, using the best experts in any one area ( eg Google Maps, or best checkout system, or best driver id check ) and focused their development on the unique pricing model that optimises pricing to reduce prices for customers, increase occupancy rate for drivers, and drive customer growth and frequency for UBER.

UBER is changing the model for transport in cities around the world, with loyal customers, drivers clamouring to become an UBER driver, and a system determined to continually drive down pricing and increase service levels.

UBER has already changed the way transport works in London, picking up an UBER for shorter and well as longer journeys. replacing the need for a car at all. The future looks good.