The opening of the first Amazon Go store at the end of last year goes way beyond redefining the concept of a traditional ‘shop’. By allowing people to walk out with their shopping without paying in store, Amazon is showing us just what is possible when you do data right.
Amazon has now set the bar for how all brands should manage their data to give their customers the best possible brand experience. And to achieve this, there are going to have to be some big changes in how we structure our marketing teams, how, in fact, we structure our businesses.
If we’re to get even close to emulating this kind of data management, we need to establish how we’re going to collect all the data we need. If we don’t manage to collect it, it’s lost forever – important then that we get this right. And with the amount of data out there, coupled with the fact that it all needs to be instantly accessible so we can react in real time makes for an often overwhelming task. Thankfully tech is coming to our rescue as we see distributed computisation come to the fore. What does this mean? Well, it means that we no longer need physical servers to collect and store data, allowing us to ingest more data than ever before and do it far quicker.
This is great news, but we also need to be able to analyse all this data and pull out usable insights if collecting it is going to be worthwhile. Analysis is a big hurdle for most brands, in fact a recent Forbes study suggests that businesses only analyse about 5% of their actionable data. Imagine the possibilities if you were able to analyse more? But we must also remember that this data is about people – it’s about our audiences and what makes them tick. Too many companies forget this and end up with useless insights that bear no relation to the people they’re trying to communicate with. The focus has to be on getting to know these people and being able to adapt quickly to their changing needs. And Amazon Go is currently the best example of this.
Reorganise your organisation…. now
To make this happen, we need to look at how best to structure the marketing team and indeed the business as a whole. This is, after all, a business wide issue, it’s about really putting the customer at the heart of the business (not just saying you do) and building up around their needs. Let’s think about this – as marketers, if we are going to operate in real time we’re definitely going to need the IT team, and we’re going to need data scientists. But to do our jobs effectively, we’re also going to have to look further afield – in retail, for example, we’d need input from buyers and merchandisers, ecommerce managers, stock room and distribution managers to name but a few. And that’s not mention all the regulars you see on a marketing team.
It’s about removing the friction within a business that slows down our reaction time – this usually comes from different teams working in isolation and failing to communicate. We must instead bring everyone together to work towards that common goal of creating the perfect customer experience in real time. So, we challenge you to ask yourself – who would you have on your super marketing team? And how will you make this happen?
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