Data Is Springboard For Product Development

Quinn-KilburyiProspect named Ben Wood to global president Thursday; he's tasked with growing the company's network and brand worldwide.  He stepped up to the post after leading an innovative group of digital and data specialists in the United Kingdom for the Aegis Media division.

The change reflects an industry gearing up to mine insights rather than simply collect data to make critical decisions on new products and services.

Several companies, from PepsiCo to 1-800-Flowers, shared how their respective companies tap data to drive new product and service innovations at the OMMA DDM conference Thursday. At PepsiCo, data doesn't drive marketing; it acts as a strong enabler. Quinn Kilbury, senior brand manager of Pepsi NEXT and Pepsi Innovation at PepsiCo, told attendees that Pepsi Next was born from data-driven insights.

PepsiCo relies on feedback from social and other media to change products. When Pepsi discovered its customers' distaste for aspartame, they removed it. Half of Kilbury's job is confirming only the people who want to see the message. The goal is finding the correct person online and driving them into the store, either to redeem a coupon or take advantage of the sale price. He admits that one-on-one targeting isn't quite there yet, but expects to have it by the end of this year.

The juxtaposition of search and sales data can identify when it's time to sunset or change a product, according to Nada Stirrat, executive vice president and CRO at Acxiom.

Jocelyn Cripps, executive vice president of global B2C marketing at Financial Times, said the news agency has relied on behavioral data for many years. Much of it comes from reader sign-ins. The FT uses sign-up data to develop products, recommended reads, acquire new customers and sophisticated targeting for advertisers to reach the correct potential consumer. The recently developed platform Smart Match enables FT to match contextual content from advertisers with editorial content using semantic algorithms similar to Amazon.

One log-in gives FT a 360-degree view of the reader, whether they view the content on a smartphone, tablet or desktop. Cripps said about 30 people support a group at FT focused on optimizing landing pages, building propensity models, monitoring behavior on sign-on pages and what causes them to sign off.

People want brands to use data to improve their experience with products and services, according to Chris McCann, president at 1-800-Flowers. He said the company taps into social and clickstream data to support that focus. It took us about 10 years to accumulate about 5 million birthday reminders," he said. Since the company recently integrated social technology, he says it will acquire 1 million more just in May. The company launched several subsidiaries, such as Fanny May Berries, based on data insights.

McCann said the company's IT department worked with IBM to redesign the customer database to capture all the social forms of data. He says it's a complex process to use data to interact with consumers in real time.

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