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Mark Heckman

Principal
Mark Heckman Consulting

When Will Big Data's Reality Meet Its Vision?

February 20, 2013

FROM RETAILWIRE:
Everywhere you go in the retailing and CPG industries today, it's about personalization, big data and having the right product for the right person, every time. Yet, for many consumers, the reality is not the same as the vision. What has your experience been with the use of big data to personalize offers and experiences?      [more...]

MY COMMENTARY:

Progress in this area is evident, but clearly there is a long journey ahead for most retailers in term of using data for customer recognition and benefit. I have always struggled with the concept of overtly recognizing VIP shoppers in the store, being concerned about how the average customer might feel seeing someone else getting better treatment then they do. However, we are in an age and time where relevance is such an imperative with the shopper, I think the benefits of such recognition now outweighs any downside.

But having access to shopper data in multiple silos, managed by multiple departments is a recipe for disaster if the retailer is truly interested in developing a holistic relationship with the shopper. One view of the shopper is needed along with a customer strategy that guides the communication flow and dialogue with shoppers. Finally, it is key that whatever this customer strategy entails, the associates in the store must have access to accurate data and be trailed "religiously" as to how to use it to interact with shoppers in order to execute that strategy.

While this journey is long for many retailers, there is no doubt in my mind that it will return a huge return, financially and otherwise!

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