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Preview Internet Retailing Expo: John Butler, former Head of Communications and Media, dunnhumby

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If you’re not already doing it, now is the time to leverage the power of your data to take loyalty – across your multiple channels - to a new level. This will be a core message from John Butler, whose keynote address ‘Monetising Social Commerce’ closes Day Two of the Evolution Conference at the Internet Retailing Expo this March. “Now, more than ever, data should be used strategically,” he says. “When you really understand your customers you will get the right results from your marketing activities. Data drives the whole marketing mix.”

His message will be “use data to understand the truth about your customers”. From here, the benefits of establishing “good data,” will begin to come through. Data can then be used strategically to inform how marketing communication should evolve over time, which offers work and for whom, and data can be used to help with range planning, inventory forecasting, and new product development, he says. Delegates will be guided through a fascinating case study, showing how an anonymous retailer went about skewing its data, tailoring an offer to the insights gained, and driving take-up.

Loyalty cards are still hugely popular in the UK, with new schemes such as the Debenhams Beauty Club, and the Ice programme – run by a group of ethical brands - demonstrating how the web can play its part in forming exclusive and rewarding ‘clubs’ for customers. Butler’s advice is to always ensure value is being offered to loyalty scheme members, and to deliver consistency and integrated systems across stores, web and mobile. “We’ll see tighter integration of marketing communications across channels, and of course mobile, site-specific contact will make things even more interesting for customers,” predicts Butler.

As a leading independent consultant in consumer-targeted and social media, Butler has a wealth of marketing and CRM experience. He was the former global head of communications and media for dunnhumby, the world-renowned loyalty and data mining company that is majority-owned by Tesco. Butler is close to launching a start-up company, where no doubt his in-depth understanding of how to collect and what to do with customer data, will be put to further profitable use.

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