Commentary

Nike Combines Data With Experts For Personalized Experience

If the future of customer experience looks anything like Nike On Demand, we’ve got a lot to look forward to. 

The campaign was tested in the heart of Adidas country — Germany, Austria and Switzerland — and took the accumulated knowledge Nike has on its customers to create a truly personalized experience.

Nick Law, global chief creative officer at R/GA, walked the audience through the campaign at the Advertising Research Foundation’s annual conference last week. 

“Decades of data show that the hardest challenge for athletes is staying on track,” Law noted. 

Nike On Demand was a human-driven 1:1 service delivered through WhatsApp chat. It was designed to engage athletes by offering personal one-on-one training with coaches delivering advice specific to the individual’s goals. 

Over six weeks, 240 athletes were involved and exchanged more than 22,000 messages with personalized inspiration, motivation and tools. These included conversations, images and personalized playlists.

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About 10 years ago, Nike started tracking the activity of its runners through the Nike Running club and Nike Training. So they used this data around the sports they know their customers champion and overlayed it with the support system. 

“We combined the richest set of data with the best experts — no bots,” Law said. This provided the audience with the things they crave most — social entertainment and ways to take action.  

When someone’s activity started to drop, Nike experts looked at the data and tested motivations and messaging that had worked on other athletes. But each interaction was unique. 

In addition to motivating messages and congratulations when goals were reached, offers were made for VIP experiences. 

“We used data and algorithms and machine learning to make sure it was a more human interaction,” Law said. Now the goal is to scale by using more data, but always having this human interaction.” 

As he pointed out, the human element is a key factor in the motivation. “You don’t want to let down a person. You really don’t care if you let down a robot.” 

Law described the campaign as not advertising at all, rather “service design” requiring systematic thinking about the customer. “The fact it’s delivered through a conversational interface makes it more human.”

1 comment about "Nike Combines Data With Experts For Personalized Experience".
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  1. Kevin Horne from Lairig Marketing, March 27, 2017 at 9:27 p.m.

    "We used data and algorithms and machine learning to make sure it was a more human interaction,” Law said.

    And I bet there wasn't even one chuckle from the rapt audience after that statement...

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