Creating competitive advantage through digital intelligence

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David Oliver speaks to Matthew Tod, (former CEO of Logan Tod) who leads our digital intelligence services, to discuss the challenges facing businesses today in monitoring customer activity across a number of totally unconnected channels.

 

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David:
Hello everyone, my name is David Oliver. I am a partner in our Retail and Consumer Consulting team, specialising in multi-channel and digital change, and I am very pleased to have with me today, Matthew Todd, who was formally chief executive of Logan Todd & Company and is now a partner at PwC, leading our Digital Analytics and Optimisation team, so welcome Matthew.

Matthew:
Thanks David.

David:
So Matthew, you’ve been involved in digital analytics as an industry leader for the last ten years, so in a sense you’ve grown up with the digital analytics industry. I’d be interested to start with, just to get your general observations on the status of digital analytics and where we are today?

Matthew:
Actually, we are at quite an interesting point in the world of digital analytics, because when it started, it was all about monitoring websites and effectiveness of websites. Along came other channels, such as mobile and social, and for each of those we invented new analytical techniques. We have analytical techniques for advertising and email. And the state that we are at at the moment, is we have got lots of different pots of data and our ability to actually understand what is going on in the consumer world, is perhaps less than we would like because these pots of data from all these different channels are not actually connected.

David:
So do you find that clients are asking you questions to which the data holds the answer but the client is finding it difficult to pull all that data together, is that the issue?

Matthew:
I think it’s very much the case now. And I think also the questions have got much better as well. So whilst initially we wanted to know how many hits we had on the website, people are now asking questions about how do people behave across channels. If we do something on-line, does it influence what happens on-line? And it is remarkably hard to answer those questions without joined up data in some way shape or form.

David:
Yes, I mean that’s something I hear my customers talking about all the time. One of the issues of course that for retailers, is that many of them don’t have data on the customer in the store, so it’s very difficult for them to track the influence of what happens on the web. The influence of that on what happens in-store. What are you seeing people doing about solving that issue?

Matthew:
Actually, it’s an even bigger issue than that actually, David. Because you’re sitting there with an Ipad, I know you’ve got a laptop back in the office, you’ve probably got a few computers at home. Tracking you on-line is pretty hard, let alone when you go in-store. So when people talk about joining up that data, it is really very very hard to do. And so what the leaders have started to do, is to actually say “we’re never going to achieve that”. “We’re going to actually use statistical techniques to understand the influence of on-line and off-line and vice-versa. So we’re going to look at the relationship between this data. We are not going to try and track the individual across all of these channels.

David:
Right, so a lot of people talk about single view of the customer as being the objective everyone is working towards. It sounds like you don’t agree with that?

David:
It’s a lovely idea. Single view of the customer, I would love to have it. The reality is, it’s so difficult to do in some way shape or form. And it’s also to be perfectly honest, slightly unproven as t o whether investing in single view of the customer will really make you back all the money, when you look across all of those channels.

David:
Yes. So when you talk about statistical techniques, to look I guess at a more aggregate level about the interaction between channels, just give me an example of what those statistical techniques might involve.

Matthew:
Well I think the way that we are doing it now, is that we are aggregating data from two different sources. Let’s take for example, on-line behaviour and CRN data from a catalogue company. Now rather than doing a big single view project, we have got data warehouses in the cloud now, which allow you to be more agile, to actually join these bits of data together now and understand if anything is actually of value there. When you can do that, you can start to learn things. So I might have sent you a catalogue, but did it really create the sale? The on-line behavioural data, well I actually say no, in truth it was Google that generated the sale. And we can bring those pieces of data together, cost effectively in the cloud, and use that to improve targeting for catalogue companies for example, and you know, that’s a big cost saver if I don’t send you a catalogue.

David:
So Matthew, what I’m hearing in summary, is that the overriding need is for integration across all the areas of analytics and that our call to action if you like to our clients, is to develop an integrated measurement strategy that allows them to understand behaviour of customers rather than individual channels, is that right?

Matthew:
I think, absolutely. A measurement strategy that helps you map out where you are going to go with your data, how you are going to analyse it and how you are going to create value. I think now that we are beyond the tipping point in many industries, it’s long overdue to get a good measurement strategy.

David:
Well that’s very clear. Thank you Matthew.

Matthew:
Thanks David.

Understanding customer behaviour will bring greater business value

The customer is in control now more than ever before. From digital channels and content; mobile devices, networks and applications; the rise of social media, customers choose when, where and how they interact with you.

Customers choose when, where and how they interact with you, often across many devices and increasingly across a complex decision-making and purchase cycle. Using the ‘observed’ and ‘volunteered’ data from the range of digital channels and content, gives you the potential for far more insight into your consumers’ behaviours and motivations than ever before.

Identifying trends from this data can help to improve the accuracy and relevance of your business decisions and actions. Our digital intelligence team was formed following the acquisition of Logan Tod & Co. This gives us leading digital analytics and online performance capability that can help you to:

  • understand exactly what you need to do through detailed analysis of your digital data
  • develop the right digital strategy for your business using our ecommerce experience and through in-depth data analysis
  • identify opportunities and innovative approaches to help you grow and increase your profits – and help you deliver them
  • produce smarter measurement strategies so that the insight you get will really make a difference.