Data-driven Pop

Sprite Cherry LeBron

The Coca Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company selling more than 500 brands of soft drink to customers in over 200 countries. It generates mountains of data – from production and distribution to sales and customer feedback, and the company relies of a solid data-driven strategy to inform business decisions at a strategic level.

In fact, Coca Cola was one of the first globally-recognized brands outside of the IT market to speak about Big Data, when in 2012 their chief big data officer, Esat Sezer, said “Social media, mobile applications, cloud computing and e-commerce are combining to give companies like Coca-Cola an unprecedented tool-set to change the way they approach IT. Behind all this, big data gives you the intelligence to cap it all off.”

Product development

Coca Cola is known to have ploughed extensive research and development resources into artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure it is squeezing every drop of insight it can from the data it collects.

 Fruits of this research were unveiled earlier this year when it was announced that the decision to launch Cherry Sprite as a new flavor was based on monitoring data collected from the latest generation of self-service soft drinks fountains, which allow customers to mix their own drinks. As the machines allow customers to add their own choice from a range of flavor “shots” to their drinks while they are mixed, this meant they were able to pick the most popular combinations and launch it as a ready-made, canned drink.

Healthy options

As sales of sugary, fizzy drink products have declined in recent years Coca Cola has also hooked into data to help produce and market some of its healthier options, such as orange juice, which the company sells under a number of brands around the world (including Minute Maid and Simply Orange).

The company combines weather data, satellite images, information on crop yields, pricing factors and acidity and sweetness ratings, to ensure that orange crops are grown in an optimum way, and maintain a consistent taste.

The algorithm then finds the best combination of variables in order to match products to local consumer tastes in the 200-plus countries around the world where its products are sold.

Social data mining

With 105 million Facebook fans and 35 million Twitter followers, social media is another hugely important source of data for the company.

Coca Cola closely tracks how its products are represented across social media, mining this gives insight into who is consuming their drinks, where their customers are, and what situations prompt them to talk about their brand. The company has used AI-driven image recognition technology to spot when photographs of its products, or those of competitors, are uploaded to the internet, and uses algorithms to determine the best way to serve them advertisements. Ads targeted in this way have a four times greater chance of being clicked on than other methods of targeted advertising, the company has said.

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How to win in the age of the Digital Customer?

faces5

How to Win in the age of the Digital Customer

data pulse # 19

The Chief Customer Officer has a new agenda . Creating a Customer Obsessed Organisation and designing the human and digital customer experience are top priorities to win in the age of the Digital Customer .

This battle is not business-as-usual, for the following reasons:

  • Traditional loyalty structures are eroding, causing companies to have to work harder to retain customers or risk driving up churn.
  • Customers expect high levels of personalisation, forcing companies to design experiences as close to the individual level as possible.
  • Agile digital companies are seeking to disintermediate the relationship between both traditional digital and brick-and-mortar companies and their customers.
  • Companies must now differentiate on the experiences they deliver to customers.

Each of these forces creates challenges; more importantly, the additive impact of these forces mandates deep-rooted changes in a company’s strategy and operations.

To state the obvious, customers neither understand nor care about how hard it is to deliver consistent, quality and personalized experiences.

Taking stock, the CCO’s agenda now looks more and more like the CEO’s or COO’s agenda.

The agenda

The CCO’s agenda can be separated by a line of visibility: some pieces customers can see, and some they cannot.

Key initiatives such as strategic positioning, brand and loyalty programs are traditional CMO agenda items.

The new and most important item is designing consistent, high-quality, and personalised experiences across both human and digital touch points.

The need to differentiate on the basis of experience is really what drives the deep-rooted operational changes below the visibility line. In most cases, delivering differentiated experiences is not business-as-usual; it will require more severe structural and operational changes such that a company looks and operates differently than it does today. The CMO agenda now consists of:

  1. Making organisational changes to better align capabilities and ensure a seamless delivery of experiences across human and digital touch points.
  2. Transitioning process design from being efficiency-focused to customer-focused.
  3. Making hard changes in people and culture, including leadership, new roles, competencies and a customer-focused culture that fuels the business.
  4. Putting in place an analytics capability to enable data-driven, personalised journeys.
  5. Initiating or accelerating the business technology agenda to improve technologies that deliver customer value and drive growth.

Combined, these efforts tell us that companies, and CCOs specifically, need to think hard about making a fundamental shift in their operating model. To add to the complexity, changes to the operations across the company need to be sufficiently cohesive to ensure they don’t damage or create uneven customer experiences.

For better or worse, this is what is in front of many CCOs/ CMOs today — to lead the charge to understand the consumer mind set in the digital age and truly become a customer-obsessed organization.

This isn’t veneer or some clever tagline. It is the hard work to differentiate and win in the Age of the Digital Customer

Uber focused on data

uber

Uber is a people logistics service that uses a matchmaking model to connect customers directly with drivers to reduce prices for customers by optimising load capacity for drivers. It is now available in 53 countries and more than 200 cities and is revolutionising logistics and service using data. .

The app automatically detects the user’s position using GPS – so ‘riders’ can book a taxi with a single press of a button. Users can get an estimate of their fare by entering their destination. This is calculated by algorithms which consider the distance, prices of similar journeys, and the current Uber price rate.

uber app

Uber uses an algorithmic approach to account for differences in supply and demand in different areas. when supply out-strips demand prices are low, when demand increases the algorithm drives up pricing to encourage more drivers out and optimise revenue. This is called ‘surge pricing’. When demand outstrips supply in a certain area, surge pricing is applied and the usual fare rate will be multiplied appropriately. Users will be notified of surge pricing on booking, and can cancel the trip if they do not want to pay the increased fare.

When a the taxi is booked, a temporary bridge is created between customer and driver data allowing them to make contact and see each other’s location. Once the journey is over and the transaction complete, the exchange of data ends.

Uber scaled rapidly through partnership, using the best experts in any one area ( eg Google Maps, or best checkout system, or best driver id check ) and focused their development on the unique pricing model that optimises pricing to reduce prices for customers, increase occupancy rate for drivers, and drive customer growth and frequency for UBER.

UBER is changing the model for transport in cities around the world, with loyal customers, drivers clamouring to become an UBER driver, and a system determined to continually drive down pricing and increase service levels.

UBER has already changed the way transport works in London, picking up an UBER for shorter and well as longer journeys. replacing the need for a car at all. The future looks good.

 

Blow Up Bedrooms….

lifestyleairbnb

Data Pulse #23

When a few programmers and bloggers bought some air-beds , built a website and offered an air-bed with a coffee on their floor during a particularly busy conference season in San Francisco, they didn’t think they’d be creating a dis intermediation business to rival Marriott or Intercontinental Hotels.

Airbnb is a lodging rental platform with headquarters in San Francisco, California.

airbnb has grown staggeringly quickly over the past half-dozen years. The mind-boggling numbers show its incredible popularity; 1.5million listings in 33,000 cities in 191 countries around the world have attracted 65million guests – and counting.

 

Last June the company was priced at $25.5billion (above hotel giant Marriott’s $20.90bn), and ranked the third most valuable start-up business in the world, behind transportation network company Uber ($51billion), and Xiaomi, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker ($46bn).

airbnb has used data to deliver against the brand purpose, tell the brand story and build the customer experience . “Experience the world like a local” 

 

airbnb describes itself as a ‘community marketplace where guests can book spaces from hosts, connecting people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay.’ A super brand that is community led.

The hosts are business partners, and airbnb is led by what the business partners say, continually getting their opinion and gauging reaction to business challenges and opportunities. It quickly builds a sense of openness, trust and meaningful interacton to form a strong community.

Every year, some 5,000 hosts from more than 100 countries are invited to the company’s airbnb Open (the 2015 edition was held in Paris) and encouraged to talk about the nature of their work. It is a great opportunity to both connect with the hosts and understand how airbnb can help serve them better. It is also a good way to feel part of that broader global community and the local area.

airbnb ran an innovative campaign to engage not only hosts but visitors in the airbnb community. The One Less Stranger campaign – where 100,000 hosts woke up on New Year’s Day, 2015, to an email from airbnb’s founder Brian Chesky saying he had paid $10 into their bank account – was an instance when “full editorial control” was taken away from Airbnb. Brian wrote that we would like the hosts to do something to help someone else, and to meet someone new with that money, It was a $1million marketing campaign where we gave full editorial control to the hosts. Some people just pocketed the money, but the idea here is that you can allow people who are your biggest advocates to be your spokespersons, and do your marketing for you, on social media and word of mouth.

It all builds up to the goal that your brand is driven by community rather than people in a marketing department.

 ‘It’s far better to have 100 people love you than 100,000 people sort of like you.’

airbnb also use data to make a ever growing core of people love them . The platform has disrupted the traditional hotels industry by eliminating the middle man and connecting travellers directly with people who have space to offer. airbnb collects detailed data relating to how customers are using the platform and attributes much of its success to an ability to analyse and understand how to improve the service.

airbnb employs extensive A/B testing to score multiple configurations or designs of its website and apps. Different users will also be exposed to different ranking and recommendation algorithms – the variation they experience is then linked to their next actions – viewing patterns, bookings and ultimately reviews of their stay.

airbnb uses natural language processing to decipher users’ true feelings about their stay, finding this to be more accurate than simple star rankings (which, they hypothesise, are overinflated due to the personal contact between guest and host).

Must admit i was a little nervous using airbnb for the first time ,. Found a little room in deepest Shoreditch, better than the local Premier Inn and cheaper… but now i’m a convert

TfL adds cycling routes to Open API

cycling London highways

Latest addition to portal provides potential for app development to support cyclists

Transport for London (TfL) has opened up a new open data source for mapping information on cycling in the city.

The organisation, which has been one of the leaders in making its data freely available for re-use, said that app developers will be able to use the information on its Cycle Superhighways and Quietway through its open data portal. Data on new routes will be added as they open.

This should enable developers to map out the existing networks within apps and on websites, and can be combined with previously released data, such as the location of cycle parking and availability of bikes from docking stations for London’s hire bikes, to help cyclists plan their routes.

TfL have continued to develop against their mission to keep London moving and innovating by providing data in Open Format for experts to develop into Customer Experience CX friendly Apps. Londoners already use apps to navigate around London every day, and by ensuring this cycling data is available to developers, they make a big difference to the way journeys are planned.n Cyclists can then plan the best route for them rather than simply following the way they would go by car or bus and find quieter more friendly routes

There are now more than 600 apps powered by TfL data including Citymapper. It has been very active in adding feeds to its open data portal, with initiatives last year including the provision of data on the London Trams network, historical crowding at Underground stations and road closures for the London Marathon. It also extended its APIs to include data on the Night Tube service.

A truly innovative way of using data to deliver against TfL mission, it’s commercial imperatives through delivering improved CX via data.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat

tflcitymapper 3

data pulse #18

Transport for London (TfL) has a purpose to ensure easy transport around London. It attempted several times to create customer friendly apps to use all the data from Train, tube and bus journeys. It couldn’t integrate the data and make a user friendly front end, to deliver this benefit for customers on its own.

TfL was very clear on its own capabilities : Good at Civil Engineering and its Purpose: Keep London moving.  Instead they took a different approach to deliver their commercial imperative: TfL made their live transport data available real-time through an open API for developers. So far over 5000 users have registered, and over 300 apps created using Open Data, The most famous is Citymapper

Citymapper has created a customer app where you can look real-time at transport options to get you A to B , ‘here to Work’, ‘Here to Home’ etc. via walking, cycling, car, bus, train and Tube. The app tells you how long the journey will take, when and when it leaves from, cost, changes required, and provides a route map. It even tells you when to get off the bus, and a friend when you’ll be arriving

Transport for London benefits from this by having access to rich data on the way people are travelling around London – they can improve their transport services for the capital based on these learnings.

London was the first city but Citymapper is now in 23 cities including Manchester, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, New York Chicago, Mexico, SaoPaulo, Tokyo and Singapore. The same system is now used to provide journey times and options at Heathrow into London, real-time on screens in airport arrivals

TfL are also exporting their model to other cities in UK and internationally, starting with the new City mayors in Manchester?

citymapper 2Citymapper 1

Creating C.I. from B.I. for Customers

 

British Gas

Data-Pulse #69

Using data- driven analytics and technology to create new services that improve the Customer Experience by creating CI (customer version of BI) has emerged recently:

British Gas and Southern California Electric:

The development of SMART meters has revolutionised the available data from Energy. British Gas connect multiple sources of data to display personal energy use in simple terms: not just kW usage per day/ hour but cost per day/hour, with comparisons to average houses in the area, all presented in easy to use tables and graphs.

British Gas Hive 2

It provides clear practical information that delivers “Informed Energy”. It tells me last week it cost £3 a day to heat my home, and if i turned the thermostat down by 2 degrees i would save £1 a day……. giving me control

California Electric have used variable and peak demand pricing in California to manage energy use in area where there are energy restrictions.

The creation of Hive by British Gas allows remote control of customers’ home central heating, again with an excellent customer experience, allows customers to run their home more efficiently. I can turn the heating on as I come home from work, or manage remotely my teenage daughter who has turned up the temperature before going out herself.

British Gas Hive

Hive will continue to develop as IoT connects more devices to create a House management system.  your Fridge will be connected via IoT to electricity supply and it will automatically switch itself off in periods of low use ( night time ) when no energy is needed to maintain temperature.

Hive have just launched new products in the Hive product family:

  1. Hive Active Plug to connect home electrical appliances via your phone. eg iron or hair straighteners or schedule lamps to turn on and off when on holiday
  2. Hive window or Door Sensor: you can find out if a door is opened or closed when you are away from the house , they’ll tell you by sending an alert to your phone.
  3. Hive Motions Sensor: extra peace of mind with small and sophisticated sensors sending alerts to your phone if movement spotted in your house. 

british gas hive 1