Rick Ferguson, VP Knowledge Development, Aimia introduces the Loyalty World conference and how marketers can engage and connect with customers in a social world and the role of "Big Data" and "Big Loyalty".
He reminds us that we live in a world where emails, tweet and online posts are counted in billions and where global data is now counted in peta- and zetabytes. No longer is it good enough to plan marketing and PR programmes months in advance; marketing is engagement in a real-time world. To grow your brand you must open new channels and work with speed and agility.
The movement to a 360 degree view of the customer – "Big Data" – is the future of marketing; it is "the new oil of the internet", "the currency of the digital world" and "statisticians will have the sexiest marketing jobs over the next ten years".
Rick confesses that most businesses do not know exactly how to use "Big Data" but highlights that, more generally, they should be heading to a world with high consumer control and high engagement are key, when market forces prevent this. Central to this is building real relationships – providing high value to customers, use their data effectively, offer control of their data and ultimately produce sustainable ROI and customer loyalty based on symbiotic relationships – "Big Loyalty".
Indeed, no company has a complete understanding of customers. "Big Data" should be used to build "Big Loyalty" and, more specifically, around the transaction cycle; when customers buy something businesses have the greatest chance to re-enforce their customer relationship.