Learning One: Good data is worth more than you think
Did you know that better quality data would boost the profit margin of the average business in the UK by 50%? No, neither did I. That’s an extraordinary stat, and one that made the audience in Validity’s session on why great data is the foundation of a great customer experience sit up and take notice.
By Charlie Hills, Editor at Large
Marketers everywhere are facing the challenge of poor data. Dan Goran of Hotels.com believes that good data is his business’ most important commodity, but he cited how hard it is to get it right: “Customers expect us to know everything about them – every touchpoint. At the same time, our use of data is under close scrutiny by customers, regulators, and cyber criminals. We need good quality data in order to develop a compelling customer experience that stands out.” Marketers have to balance high customer expectation of data quality, versus privacy and GDPR regulations – it’s a fine and difficult line to walk. Note our previous article on data protection and privacy rulings.
So how can a brand ensure good data? There is a need to make sure it’s correct, unbiased, complete, and as real time or even “now” as you can get it.
The same applies to agencies like Mando-Connect – we are informed and led by our unique data sets, but we know we are only as good as the quality of that data – that’s why we are constantly validating it, checking it, innovating, and adding to it. We know the value of good data, and so do our clients.
Learning Two: Humanity rocks, even if you aren’t human
My next favorite insight was about the power of humanity in brand communications. According to Braze’s 2018 Brand Humanity Index, communicating like a human increases campaign conversion rates by 900%, makes consumers 2.1x as likely to love your brand, 1.9x as likely to feel satisfied with your brand, 1.6x as likely to purchase from your brand, and 1.8x as likely to recommend your brand.
So, how on earth can a brand or a campaign become more “human”? The answer it seems is actually quite simple. There are 4 levers to get right, and surprisingly, it’s primarily a functional thing – only the first one is an emotional lever:
- Emotional – be responsive, social, thoughtful, friendly, and helpful
- Natural – speak like a regular person, speak in a tone the person likes, be clear and understandable, be authentic
- Considerate – use their preferred contact channel, communicate at convenient times, value their time, and understand their business
- Personal – understand what matters to them, make great recommendations, and avoid what they don’t like
We heard about powerful case studies on the importance of getting context right from Ines Ures of Deliveroo and James Moore of The Trainline, who both use human communication to create powerful moments that really connect with their audiences. From understanding that it’s absolutely critical to offer people the restaurants and choice they really want in the right not the wrong moment for Deliveroo, through to knowing exactly how far in advance to remind people their train is setting off (it’s about 20 minutes for most people apparently). Both brands are really investing in human communications to build lasting relationships.
Learning Three: Sharing has changed, from micro-capitalism to collaborative consumption
I think most marketers think of the sharing economy as Airbnb or Uber – effectively a model where individuals rent out their possessions to others. According to econsultancy’s panel, that has now changed. The sharing economy is now in its second stage where people are genuinely sharing their possessions and reaping rewards for themselves, their communities, society at large and, of course, for our precious planet.
We heard from Jessica Green, Co-Founder of the Toy Box Club; Emily Taylor, Marketing Manager of Zipcar; Tessa Clarke, Co-Founder & CEO of OLIO; and Ed Thomas, Customer Experience and Insight Lead at The Collective. They described how it’s changing, how consumers are genuinely changing their views and seeing the value of collaborative consumption.
Jessica shared that attitudes have changed dramatically in the last 3 years for the better: “People are now much more aware of their own impact on the world. Parents are now willing to share and collaborate, they now really want to give access to assets without ownership.”
The panel highlighted some key benefits of the sharing economy:
- Benefits to individuals. Emily of Zipcar highlighted the benefits of efficiency of usage. “£3.5trillion of products are unused. 80% of the time, if you own a car, it sits unused. People are realising they can still have everything, but without having to own it.”
- Benefits to communities. Ed talked about one of the key benefits of sharing is access. In The Collective, 550 now live together under one roof and get access to “a whole bunch of stuff that they otherwise wouldn’t have.”
- Benefits to the planet. Tessa talked about the aberration of current waste levels in our society: “Throwing away £15bn of food is the aberration. Human beings have shared food forever, sharing taps into something profoundly human.” She highlighted that we are currently using 1.7 planets worth of resources per year; that’s unsustainable and sharing is one of the answers.
This panel believed that the sharing economy is the new business paradigm – I’m intrigued to see what happens next!