By Jeanne Roué-Taylor
Coverage of the Olympic games in Sochi gives us beautiful insight into the future of marketing. This is the first time we’ve seen wholesale use of drones, sequential photography, and the use of virtual leader lines to show how competitors stack up in every race that has a finish line. We can see winning strategy in full detail and dissect where things went wrong within moments of their occurrence. We’re seeing video Big Data that describes what’s happening in real time that, in effect, segments performances.
Segmentation at an Even Higher Level
Segmentation in the past has been a matter of studying transactional behaviors. More advanced systems today are able to see patterns in non-transactional customer behavior and the most advanced are capturing and using what’s happening right now to create ever more accurate segmentation. Now, before most of the world has caught up with real-time customer context, along comes a new way to understand and interact—video data.
The physical patterns that shoppers create as they move through the buying experience are incredibly valuable. Seeing the Winter Olympics coverage, it is an easy leap to the world of brick-and-mortar retail where knowing who lingers, who moves quickly and purposefully, and who sits down to study products has meaning for the marketer. It tells a story of consumer behavior, how choices are made, and, most importantly, what influences buying decisions.
Making Patterns Personal
For those marketers clever enough to blend loyalty programs with video data, the shopping experience can be captured in a way that maps back to the patterns of their loyal customers. A world of real-time video data can be used to analyze and then influence buying decisions of the most loyal shoppers and greatest brand advocates. Imagine prompting brand advocates to test out a new product likely to fit their lifestyle, shopping profile, and personal preferences, but doing so when the product is within reach. Video data offers a very rich new source of personalization that allows each customer’s “technique” to be understood and seamlessly brought into the marketing equation.
There’s a disclaimer, however, for getting to this level of sophistication. Marketers that struggle to gather the right data to accurately segment today will struggle with this inevitable version of tomorrow. Those who have just plastic and points (read: transactional) loyalty programs will be several steps behind. For those keeping pace with the new technology of marketing, however, this is within reach and a reward for keeping up with change. Where are you on the path to taking advantage of the new wave marketing technology?
To learn more about how to stay current as a marketer, download the whitepaper or watch the webinar, Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014.
by Jeanne Roué-Taylor
If you’ve ever flown on Virgin America, you know from the moment you enter the aircraft that you’re in for a different kind of experience. For starters, they have purple lights along the top of the cabin that give off a very soothing, modern vibe. At TUCON 2013 in Las Vegas this past fall, TIBCO CEO Vivek Ranadivé talked about the Virgin America experience and how important it is for businesses to set themselves apart from their competitors. He called it, “Finding your purple lights.”
What Sets Virgin America Apart
What sets Virgin America apart, other than their cabin lighting, is the real-time approach they’ve taken to customer loyalty. Virgin America’s award point values are dynamic and transparent—each dollar spent on the airline or its affiliated hotels, rental cars, shopping, or credit card partners earns points according to the amount spent.
Virgin America’s redemption process is instant and seamless as well. Dollars-to-points pricing gives their loyal Elevate flyers the clear message that there are no hoops to jump through, no matter whether you pay cash or redeem points. Virgin America makes it easy and simple to be a loyal customer.
A Very Slick Technology Backend
With their slick technology backend to support these customer-facing benefits, Virgin America doesn’t have to use blackout days or other restrictions to manage cash flow the way other airlines do. Point prices are calculated based on day of the week, load, cabin class, and the customer’s history that includes lifetime value and recency. Virgin America can adjust the number of points needed to motivate customers to redeem points when that’s what makes sense for the airline.
Virgin America can only do this because they rely on a real-time infrastructure provided by TIBCO that is rare in the travel business. The airline is very aware that this capability is one more “purple lights” way to serve its customers.