Attracting Consumers with Unique Data is the Next Big Thing

All of us know a die-hard sports fan, they’re easy to identify.  Not only do they wear vintage jerseys, recall every buzzer-beater and compete for who’s really old school, but they can proudly recite key statistics of their favorite sport hero at the drop of a hat. They are true super-fans.

This passion for stats was the driving force behind, built by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and powered by SAP HANA. The site aggregates 65 years of data and allows fans to tap into the statistical history of any NBA team, any player, any time on any device.

And the fans went wild. The interactive data drove a 65 percent increase in traffic and engagement with the site, as seen in this video with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Brand fans are not too different from sports fans. There’s excitement at the start of every new season, each retailer has its own style or “uniform” and consumers know which brands are hot (and which are not).

Like the NBA, retailers can create super-fan-like community and loyalty by leveraging unique data. For example, a sporting brand might ask fans to vote online for their favorite childhood sports toys. Based on the resulting consumer preference data, the brand could resurrect a limited edition baseball bat or give consumers an opportunity to customize a jersey. When fans interact with brands and become part of the conversation, the connection can generate nostalgia, excitement and interest.

Knowing your audience

According to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, improving consumer experience is the most common objective of a retailer’s digital initiatives. In fact, nearly 42 percent identify it as their primary objective. But to improve the customer experience requires knowing your audience and making meaningful connections at the right time, in the right context and on the right channel.

Retailers already have practices in place to gather customer data including loyalty and reward programs, store brand credit cards and historical purchase data. But most of these tools simply provide a historical look at customer behavior.

Adding digital initiatives can help retailers understand what consumers want and how to spark engagement at the moment of opportunity. Retailers can take advantage of unique moments, to align business strategies with consumers’ interests and create super fans of their own. Take the Super Bowl, for example.

In a recent SAP study, researchers found that 2016’s Super Bowl 50 attendees engaged with their mobile devices 40 times more in the hour before kick-off than in the same hour the day before, and a majority of that activity was on social media.

With access to this type of behavioral information in real time, companies can forecast consumer behaviors and optimize campaigns and supply chain activities to connect with consumers right at the moment of opportunity. Retailers selling merchandise at the stadium could connect with fans via Twitter with special offers to extend sales during less busy times. Or, retailers could promote merchandise that fans from out of town could have shipped home.

Unique data = Unique Consumer Experience

Retailers that engage and deliver using unique data-driven digital engagement strategies are more likely to forge deeper connections with consumers and drive more value and sales. Knowing this information, it’s apparent that when customers see their interests being recognized by retailers, they too will become super fans – voicing their enthusiasm and being the first in line for “game day.” Tapping into real-time social media activity can ignite consumer passion and interest, make consumers feel connected to the brand and help create your own super fans.

Lori Mitchell-Keller is global general manager, Consumer Industries, at SAP.

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