It’s an incredibly ubiquitous word in the industry. But despite that, there is still a lot of fear and caution that lies around it.
“People get a bit scared about how to find the information out and how to report it and bring it to life so that the wider business can understand what’s going on and what every dollar you are spending on customers is going to give back,” says Fiona Stewart, general manager of marketing and strategy at Briscoe Group.
So that’s why she spoke to Data Insight.
A new point of view
Stewart’s relationship with Data Insight started when she was working as the marketing communications manager – head of customer engagement and Insights at SkyCity Entertainment Group.
When Stewart joined the company, SkyCity had lots of customer data but was lacking was a single customer point of view. What this required was the coming together of the disparate data of all businesses in the SkyCity precinct.
The data SkyCity had was generated by a loyalty programme, however, it was a one-way form of communication and people were tuning out.
“It was just used as a way in to push information out to consumers and not really understand whether they were getting any value from that,” Stewart says.
“Because we were pushing so much information out, without really understanding what someone wanted to know from SkyCity, people were turning off and going ‘I don’t want to hear from you guys anymore, I’ve had enough of the spam’.”
The solution was to take the data and examine it, which allowed SkyCity to see how customers behave within its precinct. For the first time, SkyCity could see if a guest of its hotel was also visiting the casino or dining at one of the restaurants.
Now, armed with that knowledge, SkyCity is engaging customers with bespoke information according to their own engagements with the precinct is watching them come back time and time again, rather than watching them take their money to competitors.
Taking back control
Following SkyCity, Stewart moved to AA Smartpay, a loyalty programme that rewards customers with fuel discounts as well as discounts from participating retailers and service providers.
There, Stewart worked as a consultant of loyalty, customer engagement, shopper marketing and analysis.
Despite being a loyalty programme with information about its members, she found it wasn’t leveraging that data as well as they could.
Enter Data Insight.
Stewart connected Smartfuel with Data Insight to open a conversation about understanding its customers. That conversation resulted in Smartfuel investing money into products and capabilities Data Insight brought to the table and no better have those investments proven worthwhile than the fact they are still working together today.
A solution for all
Stewart also continues to work with Data Insight even after moving to Briscoe Group and having worked with it across a number of different organisations, she’s seen first-hand how its capabilities are able to be leveraged for all and how it’s good at talking about data in a way that the organisation can understand.
“SkyCity is about entertainment, Smartfuel is about loyalty and Briscoes is about improving sales and our bottom line. The fact that Data Insight has the capability to talk to different businesses in different environments is one of their strengths.”
Helping Data Insight achieve that is the way it becomes a genuine partner of all clients.
Given the mystery that surrounds data, such as where to collect it, what to collect, how to draw insights from it, Stewart says Data Insight takes its clients back to the beginning.
“They start with the basics and they build on it – and they take you on that journey.”
She says Data Insight take the time to sit with key stakeholders to plot out what the organisation is trying to achieve and the benefits that can be realised in the short and long term.
“The thing is, it’s a big job to do – not only to get a big company to understand how important it is to know what your consumer is doing, but that it’s also worth the investment,” she says.
“And you can’t just dip a finger into it and walk away because the infrastructure that Data Insight builds for the company and the visibility it builds through dashboards and reporting and working with tactical data partners it is a big investment. You need to stick with it because your returns on that initial investment take a good 12 to 18 months to come to fruition.”
That point about Data Insight being able to get in front of stakeholders to convince them of the importance of investing in tools to leverage data is incredibly helpful for marketers who need to justify every dollar spent.
Stewart says marketers can sometimes be considered “the team that spends all the money” because there is no quantifiable way to substantiate investment in marketing. Rather Stewart says there’s a lot of “I think”.
With no visibility, she was fighting for every dollar she needed from her organisations but Data Insight was able to improve her argument and bolster it with case studies of its prior work and opened up the opportunity to talk directly with its other clients.
With these examples on the table, she and the stakeholders had the confidence to give it a go.
And that idea of giving it a go is Stewart’s advice to other marketers who aren’t sure what the next step is in their data journey.
“If you know the risk of doing it is ‘this’, but the risk of not doing it is ‘that’ and you have all the information there that is just going to waste, then it seems pointless to not give it a go.”
And when it comes together, there’s the reward of being able to present the outcomes back to the company.
“It’s exciting when you get to present something and say, this is what happened, this is what we won or lost by doing it and because you are not just using your own personal view because the data is fact, companies go ‘this is a good way to do it’.”