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Can big data enhance individual well-being?

Published: Monday, 2 November 2015 11:44 by Katharine Hulls, VP Marketing
Digital Intelligence

The other day I read an interesting piece of research in Marketing Week which stated that British consumers would not care if 94% of brands disappeared.  The Havas Media meaningful brands UK report also stated that consumers felt that 85% of brands needed to play a bigger role in improving the quality of life and well-being of their customers and the wider community, the easiest way to do this is through big data.

Both stats interested and surprised me - after all, when was the last time you viewed your favourite brand as improving the quality of your life and well-being? The fact is, that most brands simply don’t champion collective or individual well-being, except at a very subliminal level – ‘this new raincoat will not only keep me dry, but I look great in this colour!’

Marketers nowadays do have a wider part to play in people’s lives however. It is no longer just about the marketing of a brand and how it is perceived. Now we want to look at the recipient, the consumer - the reasons why they are buying our product and how our brand engages them to come back and purchase again, and again and again. With the right approach marketing can make the difference for the consumer. What makes them want repurchase? How can the brand understand and engage the consumer to make them want to not only come back but to become a brand champion? In short, how can the marketer make sure that the brand isn’t one of those in the 94% of brands that disappear?

It is proven that with the right experience, a personalised and engaging experience, the customer will return. Remember, this is the same customer that expects personalisation and being appealed to at an individual level regardless of the device used to visit and interact with the brands website, apps etc. By avoiding having to spend hours trawling through the internet to find the required product or service and simply clicking the link on a personalised email offer, you, the consumer has free time to spend doing the things you love and make life good. And while this may pale into insignificance beside mindfulness techniques or other well-being trends, marketing can indeed have a positive impact on society.

There is no difference in the way the customer is treated when visiting their favourite store in person to the way they are treated on the web. A shop assistant in a favourite department store will understand after speaking to Jane that she is looking for a dress to wear at her cousin’s wedding, she doesn’t like the pastel colours that are in season and also wants her arms covered because she is self-conscious – they wouldn’t try to ask Jane to try on a baby pink strappy dress – so why would the same brand offer this to Jane online? Every brand now has the ability to make Jane feel good about herself, to make her customer journey as efficient and pleasant as possible, filled with products that interest her. In short, every brand now has the opportunity to improve individual well-being through big data, recognising Jane when she arrives on the website or opens the app and providing her with bespoke offers and incentives which the brand knows will appeal to her, and aren’t creepy or intrusive.

Brands that adapt their strategies and leverage an omnichannel approach to making customers’ lives easier will be the ones to remain strong...and perhaps even feel that they are truly making a difference to other people’s lives.

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