“it’s the metrics, stupid!”

June 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

Tesco, the UK retailer found in 1886, introduced in 1995 the “electronic” Clubcard that enable them to conquer the Britain market. In my view, what this little piece of technology really accomplished was a radical change of how companies perform marketing strategies. From “price wars” to “customer behaviours analysis”, which was provided in a simple and beautiful way: metrics!

This new mindset triggered without doubt, the “individualisation” of customer segmentation, the revolution we live on, where now big retailers like Amazon are redefining how we shop consumer goods.

But probably back in 1995, not everyone was aware that things were about to change. Critics (cause there are ALWAYS skeptics!) like David Sainsbury,  Sainsbury’s CEO (Tesco’s main competitor), argued against it, thinking this was only about a cash back loyalty program and a way to reduce further prices.

As Erik Qualman, writer of Socialeconomics rewrote the original phrase from James Carville “it’s the economy, stupid!”, that was a major driver behind why Bill Clinton became the 42nd president of the USA, to “it’s the people-drive economy, stupid!”. Well, if I could go back in time and have a 5 second elevator pitch conversation with Mr. Sainsbury, I would just have said this 4 simple words: “It’s the metrics, stupid!”

How “metrics” change the rules of the game:

metrics = information = precise understanding customer behaviour = better marketing strategies = satisfied customer

The concerns: security, misuse of information, data manipulation, etc…But, we all know that there is no 100% security anyway. Should I care if I share my shopping habits? Probably not.

Blog to you soon…

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