When technology is thrown into the mix of marketing, it can really give businesses a clearer insight into the "smart data" that exists within the "big data", and this can end up changing the entire focus of a business. This was one lesson that Loyalty New Zealand recently learnt.
The loyalty marketing organisation, which is most known for its Fly Buys program in New Zealand, has tweaked its view on its purpose of delivering loyalty programs.
Loyalty New Zealand CEO Stephen England-Hall said at the ADMA Data Day conference that loyalty programs are no longer about point collections or rewarding end-customers with freebies, but it's about using the data that can be obtained through these programs to create a meaningful and personalised experiences for them.
"Loyalty programs is data, is technology, is people all coming together into a single platform. The future of loyalty is perhaps around data networks and media distribution, and not necessarily about points and rewards," he said.
But before any data analysis can take place, England-Hall warned the most relevant and smart data needs to be extracted, and that's where technology comes in.
"It doesn't matter if it's big or small, it doesn't matter how much volume there is, or what format it's in because there is technology that can solve those problems for us. What is going to make the difference is the piece of information that we can deliver that is going to drive the customer," he said.
England-Hall further emphasised the importance of data by highlighting that it is the "newest natural resource that is available".
"You own the data you derive, and it's the most powerful economic asset you can have," he said.
England-Hall cited how the New Zealand social justice system is using analytics to predict social, employment and environmental circumstances that would determine if people might end up as a burden on the state in the future.
"There are models emerging with increasing accuracy that look to predict the probability at a very young age of people in certain circumstances who are more likely to end up in the social welfare or criminal justice system by the time they're 18," he said.