What Gets In The Way? Think of the following as the four disunifying principles.
- An Organizational Focus– keeps them from Customer Centricity. Internal teams are focused on their own team’s “performance”, not the customer’s reality
- Risk aversion—maintaining the Status Quo— keeps them from Continuous Optimization. People don’t perceive their process as broken
- A Competitor Focus—watching the industry leaders—keeps them from having a Culture of Innovation. Companies see themselves relative to competitors but not relative to the gaps in customer expectations
- Misplaced Accountability—the need to place blame—keeps them from Corporate Agility. Internal teams meet or exceed their internal benchmarks but that data doesn’t reflect the customer’s’ reality
You have a growing business. But it could grow more quickly.
You need to know your customers better. Recognize that customers have their expectations set by companies not even in your category.
As a leader, there are a lot of demands on you. It’s hard to prioritize and maintain a long-term focus when the urgent disrupts the important.
Instead of focusing on only on growing sales, competitors, technology or all the changes in your marketplace we’d like to help you focus on the things that won’t change. You can build healthy sustainable growth if you focus on your customers’ priorities. Please believe me. If you deliver a great experience, maintain a reasonable margin, stay focused on your priorities then growth is inevitable.
Please read Be Like Amazon: Even A Lemonade Stand Can Do It. There are many examples you can learn from. Also feel free to reach out if you have any questions,
Customers are more connected than ever. Software continues to reduce customer friction everywhere, from customer service to fulfillment. Logistics and payment systems continue to expand what’s possible for customers. Customers expect more and better.
Retail customers aren’t delighted with retailers. They feel differently about Amazon and in both cases it’s the CEO’s fault.
All the above is true. It’s why CEOs green light new and growing investments in technology and marketing. So how can I say that retail CEOs don’t care about digital?
Digital is not just a series of new shiny objects, cost cutting tools or new media ads. Digital should be the glue that connects every part of the organization with customers. Digital should allow every part of the organization to analyze data, learn from it, and act on it. The competitive advantage is putting that customer at the center of their universe.
Welcome to episode #446 of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. I have known Bryan Eisenberg forever. Back when I first started publishing music magazines on the Internet (in the mid-nineties), there were few people writing about the power of the Internet from a business and marketing perspective. There were message boards and email lists… and that’s where I first started reading the work of Bryan. Now, Bryan Eisenberg is the co-author (along with his brother, Jeffrey Eisenberg) of the bestselling books, Call to Action, Waiting For Your Cat to Bark? and Always Be Testing. We have also shared the stage on numerous occasions, because Bryan is a professional marketing keynote speaker as well. He’s done much than that. He is also the co-founder of the Web Analytics Association (now the Digital Analytics Association), serves as an advisory board member of Search Engine Strategies, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summitand several venture capital backed startup companies (like Bazaarvoice, Monetate,Nomi, TagMan, and more). Most recently, he launched a new startup called,IdealSpot, and a fascinating new book called, Buyer Legends – The Executive Storyteller’s Guide. Enjoy the conversation…
- Running time: 46:59.
Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones will continue to lead in mobile browsing over the five-day shopping period, accounting for 29 percent of all online traffic versus 15 percent for tablets. However, IBM predicts tablets will account for twice as many mobile purchases than smartphones thanks to the larger screen size.
Those people have a vast array of thoughts, opinions, preferences, feelings, needs and motivations. The actions those people take are measurable, as evidence of that vast array of thoughts, opinions, preferences, feelings, needs and motivations. An analysis based entirely on the numbers can only take you so far.
II. On this blog we talked about Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, a trendsetting data-driven superstar whose recent fall from grace reveals more about the misuse of data than about the state of data driven business practices.
III. A research study about charitable giving prompted this post where we discuss the power of targeting your marketing at one person(a) at a time.
IV. Storytelling is such a powerful communications device that some are using it to increase their personal productivity, it is no wonder that it is so effective at improving communications, conversion, and execution in your marketing.
V. Roger Dooley at Forbes read our book Buyer Legends – The Executive Storyteller’s Guide and had some great insight into the book’s strengths and what makes the Buyer Legends process both unique and relevant. He also left us this nice review on Amazon
Data-Driven Poster Child Tesco Loses Its Halo
Tesco had been recognized as a data-driven company that wowed investors. Now not so much, with its market value at an 11 year low. Investors are understandably disappointed. Should that give us pause about the value of customer data? Harvard Business Review might be making that case but we aren’t so sure. Tesco simply didn’t use data to support the customer experience. It seems to have used data to support the decisions it was already determined to make.
Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket chain, got that way by pioneering the use of data specifically by mining data from their customer loyalty cards. Michael Schrage at Harvard Business Review writes:
With the notable exception of, say, an Amazon, no global store chain was thought to have demonstrably keener data-driven insight into customer loyalty and behavior.
Observers and those in the UK may already know that Tesco is on a downward spiral with it’s market value plummeting to an 11 year low. A big part of the problem seems to be a major gaffe the company made in estimating it’s profits. But there are other problems. Schrage continues
But the harsh numbers suggest that all this data, all this analytics, all the assiduous segmentation, customization and promotion have done little for Tesco’s domestic competitiveness since Leahy’s celebrated departure. As the Telegraph story further observed, “…judging by correspondence from Telegraph readers and disillusioned shoppers, one of the reasons that consumers are turning to [discounters] Aldi and Lidl is that they feel they are simple and free of gimmicks. Shoppers are questioning whether loyalty cards, such as Clubcard, are more helpful to the supermarket than they are to the shopper.”
Making The Anti-Data Case
That makes sense. But then Schrage begins to speculate.
How damning; how daunting; how disturbing for any and every serious data-driven enterprise and marketer. If true, Tesco’s decline present a clear and unambiguous warning that even rich and data-rich loyalty programs and analytics capabilities can’t stave off the competitive advantage of slightly lower prices and a simpler shopping experience. Better insights, loyalty and promotion may not be worthless, but they are demonstrably worth less in this retail environment.
A harsher alternative interpretation is that, despite its depth of data and experience, today’s Tesco simply lacks the innovation and insight chops to craft promotions, campaigns and offers that allow it to even preserve share, let alone grow it. What an indictment of Tesco’s people, processes and customer programs that would be. In less than a decade, the driver and determinant of Tesco’s success has devolved into an analytic albatross. Knowledge goes from power to impotence.
Schrage seems to want to give data driven business practices a blanket indictment. But what if the actual problem wasn’t Tescos inability to innovate or create new promotions? What if the problem wasn’t the fact that Tesco is a data-driven company? What if data-driven marketing isn’t doomed?
Data vs. The Value Of Correct Data Analysis & Execution
Assuming that data really does drive Tesco’s marketing, it is our guess that they made one or both of the following errors.
First, they may have been driven by the wrong data and were working to increase the wrong metrics. Many companies use only the data that supports their current intuition. Bryan Eisenberg explains how Amazon’s four pillars of success revolve around data. If you read it you will learn how Amazon avoids this pitfall.
Second, they may have gotten so buried in data analysis that they lost sight of the simple fact that all that data always tells a story about people. Data simply measure the actions people take based on their feelings, motivations and situations. May I recommend that you check out, on IBM’s SmarterCommerce blog, Bryan’s demonstration of how using Buyer Legends avoids this pitfall this by turning data into story and then story into action.
Does your company use data to support the customer experience or does it use data to support decisions it’s already determined to make?