Data-driven marketing – it’s a phrase that’s become so ubiquitous within modern business that we barely stop to examine its meaning. In an age when data represents the lifeblood of business, the overlap of customer behavior and customer experience lies in the savvy leverage of this all-important recourse.
In the broadest terms, data-driven marketing is defined by the application of knowledge to action – we take what we know about our customers (their likes, dislikes, habits, and patterns of behavior) and use this knowledge to power a more effective, personalized, and impactful mode of communication. While this is a practice that has essentially been established since the 1950s, with the dawn of the digital age, and especially with the rapid growth of ecommerce, data-driven strategy plays a prominent role in modern marketing.
What impact has data-driven marketing had within the world of online major appliance sales in recent years? In this article, we’ll dig into a few emerging trends and examine the changes (and acceleration) that the sector is starting to see.
When attempting to understand the opportunity and effect that data-driven marketing is having on the major appliance sector today, it’s impossible to ignore the disruptive impact that the recent pandemic has had on consumer behavior. We’re living through a time of unprecedented and accelerated change – and this has implications for the data that we can gather as a result.
During the Covid-19 crisis, one in five consumers switched brands, and seven in ten tried new digital shopping channels. The way that consumers shopped changed overnight as stores locked down and brands scrambled to innovate via digital sales channels. For verticals that had traditionally seen the vast majority of their sales obtained through traditional brick and mortar retail (as with major appliances), ecommerce sales started to climb – in fact, more than 31% of all major household appliances were sold online during this period.
What does an intense period of behavioral change such as this mean for the data that we hold and gather? While some would suggest that data is the key to better understanding these more generalized fluctuations, helping us to predict future change, others argue that behaviors are simply changing too quickly for dependable patterns to emerge. And even if retailers can extract clear learnings from the data they amass, are they able to respond to them productively?
Ultimately, the answer lies in a company’s ability to hone its precision marketing – at pace. Data-driven marketing is still an important component for success within the major appliance sector, but today, it represents the most significant opportunity for responsive brands that can keep pace with this newly accelerated change.
While customer behavior has, to a certain extent, always been monitored and accommodated – whether sales are occurring on or offline – digital customer journeys offer a particularly rich seam of data. Easily collected and interpreted, the data generated by online interactions enables more accurate personalization and segmentation, quickly evolving marketing strategies and determining new directions.
Mainly comprising of large, expensive, and infrequently purchased items, the odds may seem stacked against the sector when it comes to online sales. With longer purchase consideration times, and the desire to physically view and experience appliances before committing, it’s unsurprising that the major appliance sector has traditionally had less access to data generated by online sales.
Yet we are seeing the gap between on and offline closing, and even for sales completed in-store, the customer journey is highly likely to have been omnichannel up until that point. A decade ago online channels influenced almost half of all appliance sales – today, we can reasonably expect that the vast majority of final sales include at least one digital touchpoint.
Recent research from Statista suggests that home appliance purchases are driven by women between the ages of 30-44. This group is 37% more likely to use their mobile devices to research a new washing machine or dishwasher before making such a purchase (usually spending a minimum of £500 or more on a new appliance). Furthermore, according to Statista, within the household appliance segment, ‘41% of total market revenue will be generated through online sales by 2023.’
While in-store strategies are becoming more advanced, digital interactions and behaviors are much easier to track, so as more activity moves online, more lessons can be learned – and data-driven personalization strategies can be implemented with much greater success within the major appliance space.
Let’s examine three areas in which major appliances stand to make big gains linked to data-driven decision-making in their future marketing strategies…
A better understanding of how our customers are experiencing our major appliance brands – as the move between on and offline channels -– offers the opportunity to facilitate better outcomes for the customer journey and customer insights. AI and automation have important implications here – with so many considerations and comparisons typically being made when it comes to the purchase of a large item such as a refrigerator or dishwasher.
With better leverage of data-driven insight, pre- and post-purchase brand interactions can be optimized and used as a chance to upsell, cross-sell or reengage. The growth of smart appliances promises to be especially important here, as interest in (and demand for) this segment of the market grows. With these more advanced and complex appliances there’s more to demonstrate, more to learn, and (hypothetically!) more to go wrong. The replacement cycle of smart appliances may also be shorted as customers choose to replace items as tech is superseded by new models. All of this adds up to more chances to engage with a customer over time.
Trust comes from understanding our customers’ needs – and this understanding comes from attaining a consolidated view of consumer data. Being able to confidently convey a
For example, within the major appliances sector, consumer preferences can vary regionally. As a result, the drive to “design globally and adapt locally” is critical. Samsung archives this through its range of Global Design Studios. These labs go beyond product performance to assess the future needs and values of customers – “everything from how the family is evolving to work, education and wider societal and cultural trends.”
To gain and maintain consumer trust, there’s a growing need to deploy a joined-up approach to data-driven marketing, making sense of multiple brands sold across multiple channels, in multiple markets. Increasingly, this is achieved via specialist global or country-level dashboards, providing the kind of nuanced, location-specific insight needed to
Following the pandemic, there’s a real need to double down on trust following the supply chain issues and associated long waits, so this is a key area in which the application of data can help major appliance businesses gain crucial ground.
Finally, with brand loyalty having been significantly eroded over the past few turbulent years, there’s a need to establish customer loyalty. Data-driven marketing has the potential to improve understanding of where loyalty lies – specifically in discovering which customer profiles need winning back, and which have remained loyal?
Customer data also has the potential to help brands leverage the power of advocacy more effectively – which customer segments are likely to become brand advocates, and how can they be amplified and courted in greater numbers in the future? Increasingly, social proof in the form of reviews and ratings can be sought and leveraged digitally – a great way to keep abreast of customer opinion, at the same time as integrating this valuable information into marketing and promotional campaigns.
By doubling down here, brands also set themselves up for greater success through digital channels, increasing personalization and intelligent retargeting to ensure that the right messages are reaching the right segments with ever-increasing, data-driven accuracy.
There are so many opportunities on the table when it comes to the smart leverage of data within omnichannel marketing strategies in the major appliances space. Consumer behavior within this very specific market has just undergone a real shake-up, and the smartest businesses will now be investing in the technology and platforms that help them to get a profitable understanding of the way that the market is evolving as the dust settles.
By taking a data-driven approach to future marketing activities, major appliance brands can ensure that they’re meeting the rising expectations of their customers, via personalized messaging, carefully segmented targeted campaigns, and a heightened degree of relevance. A “one size fits all” approach is no longer sufficient, and with an ever-growing number of sales being made online, now is the time to double down on the data this provides.