Will tech acquisitions enable Nike to drive personalization at scale?
On its third-quarter conference call last week, Nike Inc. expounded on its recent acquisition of Datalogue, a data integration platform, and its overall push to tap insights that it can use to drive personalization at scale.
Datalogue’s machine learning technology automates data preparation and promises to help Nike integrate and access data from all sources — including its app ecosystem, supply chain and enterprise data — in real time.
John Donahoe, president and CEO, told analysts that Datalogue represents the company’s fourth data and analytics acquisition over the past couple of years. Others include consumer data analytics firm Zodiac in 2018 and both computer vision company Invertex and predictive analytics company Celect in 2019.
Mr. Donahoe said the “most obvious place” where data is expected to help are in customer-facing situations, such as more personalized search and recommendations. He said, “Even in this quarter we saw use of data deliver more targeted communications to consumers and more personalized experiences. And I would say, relative to what’s possible, we’re just scratching the surface there.”
The second area is “getting the right product in the right place at the right time.” Mr. Donahoe said the Celect acquisition in particular enabled Nike to “impressively pivot” to a more direct-to-consumer supply chain. He said, “What that’s all about is knowing what inventory we have present in local, regional warehouses so that you can get it delivered more rapidly.”
Third, Nike can utilize data to create better products. As part of its organizational realignment last year, the brand placed data teams alongside creative. He said, “Nike has always married the art and science of product creation. And the move toward deeper and more dynamic insights, along with our talent and investments in data science and machine learning, creates a capacity that no other brand has.”
Overall, Nike’s scale is seen as a driver to unlocking data.
“Scale matters because you get the most actionable data. It’s true in the technology industry. It’s also true, I think, in our industry,” said Mr. Donahoe. “So we’ll have a scale advantage in data and it will drive both better consumer experience and efficiency.”
- Nike, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2021 Third Quarter Results – Nike
- Nike, Inc. Acquires Data Integration Expert Datalogue – Nike
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you see Nike benefiting from enhanced customer analytics via its recent acquisitions? In what ways does scale provide an advantage in data optimization?