Thursday, 11 October 2012

Every little helps has a story about the UK Tesco supermarket giant moving into what is described as a "paradigm shift into personal/customer data."

According to a recent article in Marketing magazine, Tesco are advertising for a Product Manager ‘My Data’.

The successful candidate, it says, “will define the strategy to develop and support the deployment of Group-wide capability to deliver market-leading products and games which give our Clubcard customers simple, useful, fun access to their own data to help them plan and achieve their goals.”

There we have it: the paradigm shift in personal/customer data grasped and understood by the country’s biggest retailer. Not only can customer data be used to help organisations achieve their goals, it can also be used (as Tesco puts it) to help customers achieve their goals.

So Tesco intends to help Clubcard customers plan and achieve their goals? Apart from buying more stuff from Tesco, what does this mean? Presumably we'll have to wait to find out, but supermarkets and web vendors generally, such as Amazon, have been tuning their customer data for years. Maybe the Tesco move is a response to that rather than something new. However, it's also about legislation on personal data.

There are three things to note about this.

First, the control shift as it relates to personal data is happening – much faster than many anticipated. With Tesco’s move, and with midata requirements to enable the release of data back to customers on the statute book due early next year, customer-facing companies now have about a year to get the house in order … before those who are riding the wave and those who are being left behind begins to show.

Second, as Tesco clearly recognises, providing customers with new information services that use their data to add value in a fun way is opening up a new dimension of competition between brands.

Third, Tesco is not talking about releasing data back to customers, only to give them access to their data. Though Tesco officially denies it, this is nevertheless a preparation for the new environment being created by midata. As Marketing magazine observes, “By investing in Clubcard Play [apparently the umbrella term for this initiative] Tesco is raising its personalization game to ensure consumers won’t see any point in passing their data to another brand’s applications.”

So maybe it's merely a move towards the Amazon model of personalized recommendations and endless emails whenever you buy anything. Somehow it doesn't fill me with enthusiasm. 

I can't see the Co-op going big on it.


Anonymous said...

Arrrghhhhh - yet another paradigm shift. Some smartarse software-monger has been peddling his wares to the cheesemongers. Be better employed putting on a white coat and dishing up ham slices. But therein lies our employment problem, a bloated middle-tier who are too posh (and expensive) to slice bacon and yet not able to start their own Tesco. Worse, their counterparts at the town hall would do their very best to stop them. So piddling about with data has become the new honest toil.

I wonder how long it will take Tesco to realise this idea is as much value as old cabbage stalks. I'd be watching that new 'Director of Mi Data' like a hawk. BTW, where did all the 'mongers' go?

A K Haart said...

Roger - "So piddling about with data has become the new honest toil."

I like it. As for the "mongers", the ones I miss are the fishmonger and the ironmonger where you could buy as many screws or nails as you needed.

Sam Vega said...

"simple, useful, fun access to their own data to help them plan and achieve their goals.”

I've got this already. I call it "memory".

A K Haart said...

Sam - I think Tesco aims to be your memory.

James Higham said...

I want nowt to do wi'it.

A K Haart said...

James - neither do I.