Article 2017-12-05T16:44:01+00:00

None of These Things are Quite Like the Other

Dave Buckingham
President, Aimia Shopper Insights, North America

Smartphone, tablet, fitbit, laptop – all these are sitting on my desk right now. And that’s only me. Take into account there are millions like me, and it’s no surprise that 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years. With all that data, we must be 90% smarter than we were two years ago, right?

In my over 20 years of Shopper Insights experience, I’ve seen that creating (and collecting) data isn’t the challenge. The trick of ‘big data’ for Aimia and our clients is understanding what it means, and using it to make real improvements in our business and our clients businesses. First, we must collect the right consumer information. That’s a hurdle for many organizations. Second, consumers know their data is valuable and they’re not always willing to hand it over.

Recently, Aimia teamed up with Columbia University to learn what motivates consumers to share their information. As it turns out, it depends who you ask. Our research uncovered four unique groups, each with their own attitudes and behaviour toward data sharing with brands. This kind of segmentation helps Aimia and our clients think more strategically about consumers – how they prefer to engage (or not), and the tactics they use to protect their information. (To learn more about the 4 types, watch here.)

Keeping messages in the ‘read’ category of their inbox and out of the junk folder means investing time to understand our consumers as individuals. Each of the groups we’ve identified is nuanced in its tolerance for sharing data, and in filtering communication once it’s received. If you know the differences between these groups, you’ll make better decisions about the marketing tactics you use for each. Not all groups require investment. If you spot where resources could be effective, and where they’re unnecessary, you can target your consumers more directly and efficiently, improve your bottom line and save money.

For example, if you knew a large portion of your audience were Can’t Be Bothereds, you wouldn’t annoy them by forcing completion of a detailed online profile, instead of letting them get right to your product and ‘check out as guest’. If Sign Me Ups and Savvy Mediators are giving you lots of data, you should be busy personalizing for them – better shaping your messaging and offers to reflect their lifestyles and interests. If Cautious Controllers are using ad blockers to mute your brand, talk to them through Facebook, where they can tailor their preferences. (To learn how to spot these consumers, browse our infographic.)

You only have so many shots to get it right before you’re relegated to the junk folder. Don’t waste them by treating all consumers alike. If we not only understand but appreciate and respect consumer differences, and use their information to help make their lives better, we’ll be rewarded in return.

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