How Big Data Inspires ‘Contextually Relevant’ Creative Thinking

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Imagine the “Amazing Race” mirroring campaigns that banks can launch with the transaction history of their customers. Is transaction history not simply, purchasing preference? Imagine being able to send push notifications to your banking customers when they are nearing an outlet where they dined and swiped their cards last week. Imagine the contextual relevance of the message and the offer. Imagine being a bank, playing a proactive role in generating leads for its customers. Isn’t this, shattering the box, the very definition of creativity?

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Rocket Internet is the largest and fastest growing e-commerce focused venture builder. Sure they are replicators and aren’t at the top of my mind when “creativity” in dreaming up business models comes up. But when their sites are hosted on shared servers and coordinate back-ends systems that track purchase behavior & customer pixels, that’s where the magic happens. Should you purchase clothing for toddlers on Daraz.pk, your unique IP and tracking pixel may prompt ads for a baby car seat from Carmudi.pk or a family pack of baby food from Kaymu. Where is this contextual relevance in the offline experience, aside from those in one to one mom & pop stores?
Nalla Karunanithy is currently working as a Chief Product Officer at Carmudi and known as the design mastermind of many successful tech ventures across continents under the umbrella of Rocket Internet, the world’s biggest technology incubator.

Highly driven by his spirit of entrepreneurship and passion for cars, Nalla is currently revolutionizing the way people buy and sell cars in emerging markets by rolling out a highly innovative solution that will combat the problem of slow internet connection that users face while browsing for cars online. In addition, Nalla has managed to bring the car listing/selling process down to less than 2 minutes. Big data and localization strategy is the path to custom fitting solutions to all markets and its caring.

Big data allows Nalla to understand customer’s problems, often without even direct feedback from the customers themselves. Because in the real world, customers are focused when they purchase. So putting them in focus groups is redundant as a gauge for insights. For Nalla, big data lets them understand the customers better than they do themselves. It allows them to analyze the problems, causes and requirements.

Big data also allows the team at Carmudi to understand that car dealers from Nigeria to Indonesia were all facing the same problem of slow and tedious process of listing a car for sale online. Within days it allowed Carmudi to pin point the problem they were facing. Using enormous data gathered globally over the year through their own database and other sources, they are now in the process of building GCD (Global Car Database), a system which will allows users to list their car in fraction of the time of what it is already now by pre-selecting attributes of cars.

The implement of adequate technologies and analytical methods is imperative in the internet age. These are significant driving forces for success in a very competitive environment. The customer’s expectation of personalization, in the form of individually tailored products and services, is also growing continuously and needs to be addressed accordingly. Customers nowadays expect to be treated individually based on their previous behavior or even how they have come to your firm’s website. Marketing to customers using strategies that are based on evidence rather than guesswork give us a significant advantage over competition.

For Philipp Petrescu, the MD at Lendico, big data strategy is essential to ultimately treat customers with individualized services. Smart algorithms, numerous data sets and an extensive tracking system help to draw conclusions about preferences and build a foundation needed for data-driven business strategies. The process includes analyzing collective customer information and drawing linkages and conclusions to accurately predict future customer transactions and behavior. For example, existing information and newly acquired data can be combined and analyzed using correlations to develop lucrative new products and specialized offers to customers’ needs.

The supply of available customer information and the portion of it that is digital is growing steadily. This proves advantageous for web-based firms Lendico that can access and analyze this data more easily, which in turn makes business activities more efficient. One reason is that defining and specifying target groups becomes even more comprehensive and accurate. Once they have segmented a customer base, they can target each group using individualized services. This includes implementing predictive behavioral targeting and optimization tactics to address the thousands of combinations of customer behaviors and transactions. Successful segmenting through big data methods can also enable their marketers to predict and determine what marketing channel proves most lucrative based on customer segmentation.

Depending how extensively and long firms track their customers’ behavior and transactions, the volume of crucial data can grow exponentially. Some digital FinTech firms today know more about their customers’ needs and wants than banks will ever learn. The fact that traditional banks are still dramatically lagging behind the modern use of big data capabilities is another advantage that FinTech’s like Lendico have over banks. Financial services can be directly tailored to customers and hand over the ability to create offers, promotions, calls to action and individualized prices that meet each customer’s unique profile.

Managers in this era need to start looking at their areas of ignorance and where the blind spots lie. The art of asking a good question is a really subtle art and that’s truly why it hasn’t been automated because the ability to be confused is still a very human skill. Managers need to stop thinking like accountants and more like geeks and think of new ways to combine what they are actually good at versus what the data are actually good at the next brave frontier.

This is exactly why, when approach with an open mind & long term strategy, big data will forge the path for contextually relevant creative thinking.

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