Why remembering the individuals behind the data is more important than ever

Customer centricity

Matthew Dunn believes customer centricity will continue to be a hugely important aspect of marketing in 2016

This article is an extract from #6for16 – six views on  the world of digital marketing for the year ahead. Grab your copy today.

Customer-centricity is hardly a new concept. In fact I remember speaking about it in a similar piece I did for 2015. However, I feel a need to highlight it as a core theme because I believe 2016 will be the year brands start digging down into what it actually means and acting accordingly.

For me this is now less about the techniques and more about the goals and brand responsibility. Putting your customer at the centre of your business is not about how you can get them to spend more money. It is about giving
them as good an experience as possible because you value them and want them to have a positive interaction.

There’s so much more data now than ever before. As the capabilities and volume of digital devices soar, prices plummet. What’s more, sensors and other visual gadgets are digitising information previously unavailable – the
volumes are incredible and companies can get carried away.

Brands today collect an ever-growing amount of information on consumers but forgetting the individuals behind the data is a mistake that cannot go on. Segmenting and selecting particular groups or types of people is an established method of ensuring relevant messages go to relevant people – but when we’re talking about thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people at a time the view of that person as an individual can
get lost.

The very word ‘consumer’ (used at will in business) implies an element of ‘commoditisation’. Do we think these people – everyday people like us and our families – like being considered, discussed and treated as a commodity,
a number? In a world where customer experience is quickly becoming everything it makes little sense. I predict a backlash against marketing that is unwanted and irrelevant.

So this year will see brands take a step up and be responsible for their actions and the way they use data to communicate with people as individuals. Focusing on the experience as the goal. Marketing is about relationships and trust – remembering the people behind the numbers and doing your utmost to treat them as you would wish to be treated yourself.

For more read #6for16, available here.

Experian Marketing Services helps bring brands and customers closer together.  Using our own industry data and analytical expertise we can help businesses build up an accurate and actionable understanding of their customers.