When the likes of Boots launched their Loyalty Programme with their ‘Advantage Card’ in the 90s, it felt like a big moment in the way companies gathered data. The launch last month of YourPret Barista, a new £20 monthly coffee subscription entitling customers to up to five drinks a day, felt like a big moment too.
The sandwich chain has understandably suffered throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and is trying something new out of necessity, but in the process, it’s reimagining the industry’s classic loyalty model, as well as the commercial model. Along with establishing baseline recurring revenue, the scheme should gather permissioned data and enable the company to refine and improve the customer experience (and company profitability).
It’s not necessarily this specific case that’s important, but instead what it represents.
Data regulation is coming into effect around the world and making it harder and harder for brands to simply ‘take’ data without explicit consent. Consumers are growing increasingly aware of the value of their information and attune to data privacy concerns. Brands have long seen the direction of travel but we’re starting to reach the critical point where they know data practices need to evolve and that it needs to happen now.
Now we find ourselves amidst a global pandemic that has impacted an untold number of lives all over the world. The impact on many industries has been real, genuine disruption. It’s only when such massive events occur do we tend to be shaken out of habitual behaviour and reevaluate things that had become routine.
We therefore find ourselves at a key moment in the data industry.
“For me, it’s the perfect time to join 3radical.”
3radical has been at the forefront of ‘earned data’ for years, helping companies establish vital value exchanges and reimagining long held data gathering practices. I’ve kept a watchful eye, especially having worked closely with several 3radical team members before (including CEO Michael Fisher and Chairman David Eldridge), while at marketing automation company Alterian.
The work 3radical is doing with brands – applying gamification and motivation mechanics to earn permissioned data – is fantastic and solving some of the biggest challenges in the industry today.
For me, it’s the perfect time to join 3radical. One of the things I enjoy most is finessing and going through the process of making good things even better. At a time when the business is pivoting and accelerating growth, there are so many opportunities to add value here at 3radical; from strategic decisions as we take our proposition to new markets and mobilise in new territories, to fully nailing internal processes and improving the little things that greatly improve overall efficiency. Over my career, I’ve come to realise there is a huge amount to be gained from identifying where teams repeatedly hit bumps in the road and finding ways to iron them out, making it a smoother ride for all involved.
As I start my new role, I intend to stay active with Women in Data, a fantastic initiative that encourages gender diversity in the data industry and will evaluate the part 3radical can play. In any industries where there are really predominant genders, I believe it’s important to find a level of balance, particularly for the different perspectives achieved by doing so. It was hugely important to me to have a great role model in Carol Cornell in my early career, an ex-manager of mine who is a super woman in so many ways. Women such as Janet Snedden (a data strategy specialist) and Caroline Worboys (a data transformation expert) have inspired, and guided me. At WID 2019, I talked to a room full of teenage girls about what a career in data might look like; how their day to day interactions with social media are often data driven as are the discount codes they get for their favorite clothing retailers. And so the cycle continues. Having such a supportive network is great for the future of our industry and something I fully recommend others get involved with.
Data is my passion; I’ve been helping companies drive value from it for over twenty years. I genuinely believe the need for good data has never been more relevant and important as it is today. But personal data can no longer be obtained in covert ways, nor can it simply be purchased, those opportunities are being whittled away and will soon be gone altogether.
We face the ‘perfect storm’ of increased regulation, increased consumer expectation and a global pandemic that’s shaking up long established ways of doing things. If brands want consumer data, they’re going to have to earn it and 3radical can help.