How Lowe’s is Overcoming the Biggest Problem in Digital Analytics
Let’s tell the truth. It is still difficult to measure marketing.
In fact, it may be harder to measure now than it was twenty years ago, simply because there are so many marketing channels today. We still have the old media: press, radio, and TV. But add to that the hundreds if not thousands of channels promoting internet search and you’re in trouble.
Lots of data and little time during the day to reorganize everything.
But the big challenge of big data classification is not at the heart of the problem. The real problem is caused by something called a primary key.
The “primary key” dilemma
Simply put, a primary key is a unique ID that separates records in a database. Each record (customer, transaction, product) in a functioning database has a different identifier.
For example, if you have a restaurant that specializes in soups, you can have a similar database,
Remember that every person who bought soup at the restaurant has a unique ID in the database. This is your primary key and allows us to distinguish one record from another. In the example above, if Jerry goes back to his soup restaurant and buys a lentil soup, the transaction can theoretically be attributed to the primary key record “12345”.
But how does a process development to constantly monitor Jerry’s restaurant shopping behavior? It seems simple until you start with the reality of multiple clients and possibly from different locations.
The problem is compounded when the second form of product purchase is introduced. If we want to sell our soup through our website, we can have a second database, similar to this one.
The second database doesn’t know you already have a record for Jerry in the first database. And the mess continues to grow.
How Lowe solves the main dilemma
One morning I went to my furniture store, Lowe, to do some important work. A few hundred meters of new flower beds need a small border.
I loaded my cart with over 200 ball separators and took it to the checkout.
At the reception, the receptionist looks in my direction and says:
Do you want to apply for a MyLowe card? It keeps track of your purchases, so you always have access to the paint color you purchased for your room, or the make and model of the ceiling fan installed. Also, keep your receipts so you can easily return items. “
How MyLowe works
When you order a MyLowe card, it becomes a record in your database with a primary key.
Here’s what it looks like when you log into the site. MyLowe card number is my most important key.
But the magic doesn’t happen until I make a second purchase and obviously use the MyLowe card. When I buy something in the store, my shopping behavior is related to the same record in the database.
Now they have something.
After completing my landscaping work, I needed patio furniture to admire my work. I took my laptop and went to Lowes.com.
Wouldn’t you know? During checkout, I was asked to log into my MyLowe account.
They have closely linked my in-store purchases to my online purchases. Brilliant!
But all this data is obviously useless unless you do something about it.
About 48 hours after purchasing patio furniture, I received an email from Lowe’s with the subject “Now is the perfect time for your perfect garden.”
Coincidence? I do not think.
This is a relevant and timely email that matches my previous shopping habits. And of course, my behavior in this email (open, click, etc.) is linked to my primary key. This is the new era of marketing.
Here’s what the email looks like there
The data collected by MyLowe can be used to generate more targeted print ads that reach my inbox. Work on it if you have not already done so.
Why does MyLowe work?
A few years ago, Panera Bread started a very aggressive loyalty program. In restaurants, computers were installed to easily activate your Panera card, and employees were determined to convince all users to sign up.
And the contribution was interesting. With the Panera Card, I received free pastries, smoothies, and cups of coffee for the first two weeks.
Panera was determined to make this loyalty program work in part because it solved the biggest dilemma.
The examples of Panera and Lowe have something very important in common. Both strive to encourage the client to register. The main problem can be solved, but only if the customer sees an advantage in participation.
The problem with current marketing statistics is not a lack of data. The problem is that too much data can not be linked. To be very technical, the problem is that there are many separate databases that contain this data.
Think about how you can encourage your customers to solve their most important dilemma. Encourage them to participate. After all, if you solve the most important dilemma, your data stays that way and you can think about what you need to do about it.