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BIG DATA AND MARKETING: FROM ANALYTICS TO CREATIVITY

Date: 28 June 2012, 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
Location: ESCP Europe London Campus

Speaker Presentation Synopses

INTRODUCTION

Marie Taillard, Director Creativity Marketing Centre, ESCP Europe, London

Marie Taillard welcomed guests and participants to ESCP Europe and provided a short introduction to ESCP Europe Business School, the School's London Campus and the Creativity Marketing Centre.  Against a context of commoditized markets, consumer scepticism and uncertainty, marketing departments seem to be losing their influence within their companies and need to rethink marketing in a more creative way - they must achieve a better balance between creativity and rigorous analysis, be more audacious yet more data-driven, build on constraints and contradictions, and above all, they must abandon "reproductive" thinking and stop following each other into the same formulaic strategies and programmes.  The School addresses these goals in its Master in Marketing and Creativity, now recruiting for its fourth annual intake.

The new Creativity Marketing Centre @ ESCP Europe is being launched to create a community of Creativity Marketers in order to build a platform for knowledge and practice exchange, thought-leadership and theory development.  It seeks to do so by combining academic research objectives and corporate practices and challenges.  Today's inaugural event shows the way forward for this new approach.

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Edouard Servan-Schreiber, 10Gen

Comparing the emergence of Big Data to the discovery of paper in the Tang Dynasty, Keynote Speaker Edouard Servan-Schreiber encouraged the audience to consider the great potential for creativity unleashed by Big Data. Because Big Data is pervasive; easy to capture, store and transmit; cheap; scalable and deployable, it constitutes a fertile ground for creative ideas.  To this end, organisations should nurture a culture that encourages the launch of new data-based initiatives by making data easy for all to access and exploit.  They should facilitate the deployment and scaling of these efforts, while accepting eventual failures and turning them into learning opportunities.

 

Peter Abraham, Econsultancy

Peter Abraham, Executive Vice President at London-based Econsultancy argued that creative approaches to Big Data revolve around change, complexity and capability.   Change brought about in part by the explosion of customer touchpoints has challenged the traditional "Big Data experts" and made relevant data available directly to marketers, agencies and e-commerce vendors.  The complexity of the available data demands a customer-centric analysis across touchpoints and a clear sense of what to measure, when and how in order to yield "soft" data that translates into actionable insights.  Only by developing the required analytical skills will marketers be able to meet the challenge of knowing how to extract value out of Big Data and act on it - their creativity depends on the development of analytical skills and mindsets.

 

Max Jolly, dunnhumby

Retail data expert, Max Jolly took the audience through a demonstration of how observed behaviours (purchases) can be turned into insights thanks to creative uses of Big Data, and can in turn provide the basis to offer greater relevance and value to customers over the course of their relationship with a retailer.  Beyond the loyalty objective, retailers are now also focusing on the advocacy objective - gaining quality insights and advocacy opportunities via social media.  Comparative results from a US-based retail client showed significant performance improvement associated with the use of social media data alongside other behavioural data.

 

 

Mark Boyt, Xerox

Print is not dead! In his insightful presentation, Mark Boyt discussed how Big Data could be used to generate personalised printed content and interact with customers. While marketers store an increasing amount of data about customers, most mailing campaigns still rely on sending standardised brochures and documents. Mark Boyt introduced the XMPie platform, by Xerox, which acts as a smart interface to personalise mailing based on customer information.  Overall, Mark Boyt believes Big Data can be creatively used to start a dialogue with customers and to better connect with them. With customers being surrounded by marketing messages and information, a smarter use of the data can result in an improved efficiency of marketing messages. A smarter use of the information also means using modern technologies to interact with customers in new ways (e.g. augmented reality).

 

Judy Bayer, Teradata

Judy Bayer, Director of Strategic Analytics at Teradata Europe, delivered a very inspiring presentation on the creative side of analytics. Her approach is based on adopting an intimate customer-centric view, often bringing vivid pictures of customers to mind in her quest to better understand their behaviours and their underlying features.  She demonstrated the example of building the profile, lifestyle and habits of an everyday customer, by using their retail footprints and mobile phone bills. She illustrated how looking at analytics through creativity, one can build a full customer's profile and derive remarkable insights.

 

Laure Reillier, eBay

Nick Moodie, eBay

Laure Reillier, Head of Seller Propositions and Nick Moodie, Business Analyst at eBay presented the unique and highly effective perspective of how the marketer's (Laure Reillier) and the analyst's (Nick Moodie) concerted approach to Big Data within the same business unit can result in productive change and increased performance. Their case study illustrated a business challenge they had faced in communicating to eBay's huge merchant base how best to adapt to the fast changing e-commerce environment. This environment required sellers to update their listings several times a month, and developed into a programme of automating listing updates, which was provided with guided support and tool training. The two speakers clearly demonstrated the use and scaling of Big Data data and scaling, in order to increase accuracy of targeting and content to deliver operational value to their merchants.  They exhibited first-hand the intricate and remarkable cooperation between a business/marketing unit dedicated to offering a better value proposition to their clients and an analyst who understands the business aspects and is able to offer creative solutions to his partner.

 

Jerome Couturier, 3H Partners

Jerome Couturier, chairman of 3H Partners challenged delegates to adopt a Big Data approach throughout the business process and in particular in the decision-making phase.  He presented various ways that companies can gain value and build a competitive advantage by the use of big data in decision-making, demonstrating the example of a large pharmaceutical and of a leading sports equipment manufacturer.

 

Nicolas de Cordes, Orange France Telecom

Could Big Data help us better understand population movements in Africa? Nicolas de Cordes, from Orange France, presented the D4D - Data for Development - program, piloted by Orange in the context of a UN program. In association with the Université Catholique de Louvain and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the program aim is to make large sets of Telco data, collected over 5 months in Ivory Coast, available to teams of researchers from around the world. The project will result in a series of scientific publications, and will help policy makers improve their understanding of phenomena such as geographical mobility or population density. The project also proved to be a challenging one, for instance to make sure the anonymity of the data was preserved. Yet, making Big Data sets publicly available represents a formidable way of sharing a new form of knowledge about populations, in countries in which existing infrastructures of data collection do not offer such detailed information.

 

Duncan Ross, Teradata

Duncan Ross from Teradata challenged the audience to adopt a philanthropic approach to Big Data by asking the question, why are some of the brightest minds of a generation focused on cutting churn rates by 0.2%?  Drawing on recent work by UN Global Pulse (www.unglobalpulse.org) and Datakind (www.datakind.org), Ross reflected on the positive impact that data can have on development and on humanity in general.  His remarks were a clear echo to the presentation by Orange's Nicolas de Cordes on the crowd-sourcing use of Big Data for community development in the Ivory Coast. Of particular interest is the area of intersection between social media and Big Data which can not only provide large quantities of in-depth consumer insights from around the world, but also disseminate raw data and insights to allow creative solutions to emerge through crowd-sourcing.

 

 

Sabine K McNeill, 3-D Metrics

How can one turn numbers into words and meaning? Sabine McNeill introduced her concept of 'software lenses', designed to gain deeper insights into consumers' Big Data. Sabine McNeill argued that the richer insights provided by data can help us to improve our understanding of both actual and potential customers. Sabine McNeill also insisted on the importance of working with reliable metrics, and made a distinction between marketing metrics - analysing data from prospective customers - and business metrics - analysing actual customers. Sabine McNeill, who uses advanced mathematics models and visualisation with her clients' data sets, argued that seeing more of the data, especially using advanced techniques, quickly overcomes the costs of generating these insights.

 

Darren Oddie, Agile Customer Insights

Welcome to the world of Marketing 3.0! While some consumers still adopt traditional consumption patterns, many markets have been changed by the emergence of new technologies that have transformed consumption patterns. Darren Oddie, from Agile Customer Insight, argued that marketers should not stop at collecting and storing information about their customers, but should endeavour gaining insights from it, albeit with realistic expectations. However, marketers should not forget the value of 'human capital', which combined with Big Data insights, could give companies a real edge. Yet, the difficulty in finding marketing practitioners that are statistically proficient is often a problem. Darren Oddie also argued that marketers need to work more closely with external partners, such as advertising agencies and companies specialised in providing consumers insights, in order to maximise the value of their customer data information.

 

Max Ciferri, 3H Partners

Continuing on the theme proposed earlier by Jerome Couturier, Max Ciferri developed the notion of Big Data and decision-making.  In particular he presented an innovative "Control Tower" instrument which allows executives to access analytical reports and deep-dive into specific areas ranging from product sales to customer features to territory specificities.   Using such user-friendly tools, business and marketing teams are able to avoid the so-called "analysis paralysis" often associated with the availability of overwhelming quantities of data.  Technological advances have made it possible for data to be made available relatively easily and cheaply to individual manager's desktops and even smartphones.  However being able to use data effectively and creatively in decision-making requires interfaces that structure the data and make it "speak" in a more relevant manner.

 

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