"Originally these events were aimed a small hi techfirms looking for investment money, the best places to talk were out ofthe work place and over a coffee. It's where the better deals get donewithout the pressure or stress of a working environment.?? Over thelast three years I've been involved in putting these events on I've witnessedsome great collaborations and partnerships. It can happen anywhere andI'm excited to see what can happen in Limavady, it's an exciting time tobe here.?? I have no vested interest in the outcomes, I'm enthusedthat these things happen."
For those who've never considered business networkingbefore, event organiser Jason Bell sets the scene.
Who should attend?
"Anyone with a business or with an idea, regardlessof sector.?? The retail sector needs all the support it can get soOpen Coffee is a great place for them to share what they are doing. I'dlove to see the local enterprise agency and Invest Northern Ireland peoplebe on ground level too, this is where their clients are".
What do I need to bring?
"Just bring yourself and plenty of business cards.There's no harm in bringing a couple of friends too".
What if I don't like talking much?
"Then you're not under any pressure to do so, thisisn't speed dating, it's no pressure business networking.?? You cancome and go as you please and there's no fixed rules that you have to staythe entire time."
How much does it cost?
"It's free to attend, no membership fees or entrycosts".
Do you think I could find a job?
"I did! Yes job seekers are definitely encouragedto attend and meet their potential employers. The first Open Coffee I organisedin Coleraine I was unemployed at the time. By the end of the first nightI had three leads to potential jobs."
What's in it for you?
"Nothing, I do it because I want to see businessin Limavady succeed.?? We just need to collaborate and work together."
So the OFT have told Groupon to change….. bit late don’t you think? The revenue, the profit, the disgruntled retailers, the hacked off customers….
Don’t get me wrong there are some good things to come out of Groupon and when a deal is put together with thought and the notional question of “what’s the upsell we can do?” then it can be used for good.
For me though, this headline is a little too late.
More info in the Management Today link below.
Hi valued customer, I’m the retailer that you bought from. You kindly said I could contact you and offer products that I thought might be of interest. In order to do that though it’s going to take some time, a bit of inital guess work and some more communication.
So let me show you this scale because it’s important to me.
The reason I show you this because right now this is how I see you. You either are a 0 (you won’t buy from me again) or a 1 (pretty sure you’re coming back because we did great things). As I’ve got no real idea whether you’ll be back or not I’m going to play it safe and put you in the middle of the scale at 0.5.
From time to time you’ll come in and buy things. We’ll take a look at the items you buy, we know our stock well and we’ve tuned the system nicely that we know all sorts of stuff about that stock item (called attributes).
We also know stuff about you because you told us that when you signed up with us, so the postcode/zipcode, income range and all that. Yeah we’ll use that too. Mash it all together and get an idea of what you’ll like.
Okay here’s the deal. We’ve clustered products together that we think someone would buy at the same time. This in turn means we can have a good guess where you are in life, daily routine and all that.
So don’t be surprised when we send you coupons that you think go against the grain, we might be two steps ahead. Just because you’re not making it totally obvious doesn’t mean we can’t have a good guess. Sometimes we get it wrong, we’re sorry.
If you’re ticking the boxes of a certain bunch of products then your rating on our scale (at the top) will rise, you might be 0.75 or 0.80 in our scale of “they might buy what we offer them”.
It’s a strange contract I know, you give us a lot of information and we give you a good offer in return in way of thanks.
In the long run it’ll work out better for the both of us.
Where to start on this one. First of all many thanks to those who have emailed, tweeted and G+’d me to the hilt with the link to the original article on how Target correctly found out how a girl was pregnant before her father did.
I think it’s worth clearing up one thing. The whole crux of the article isn’t about highlighting the woes of privacy in supermarket basket data, oh no, it was really a clip from a segment in Charles Duhigg’s forthcoming book.
The key point to this whole Target thing was missed. While the bloggerati and marketing gurus of the world wet themselves with issues of privacy, the way forward and what to do NOT to give that sort of data so Target could figure out what you wanted…. well they all missed one key point.
Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target in 2002, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”
Let me just highlight that bit for you again.
So an article in the year of our skeptic 2012 is getting het up about something dated 10 years ago. Go internet go!.
All that aside….
Basket analysis is not done by all supermarkets. If you have a Tesco Clubcard then you’re with the daddy of them all. Your basket behaviour is monitored if it’s worth monitoring. While all data may be warehoused not all data would be mined.
Now finding patterns in data is quite easy and something that Datasentiment does (we can do the real time stuff too if you want).
Is there a privacy issue of gaining insight? No not really, you opted in for communication from the retailer, no? So why be surprised when the responses are tuned to your likes? Tesco know a lot about you, more than some government departments and it’s about loyalty and profit. It’s a calculated equation to get you back instore. And if a retailer understands their customer then there’s good chance that the customer will return.
For this year, 2012, with the amount of shop closures, the rise in the cost of living and general trading conditions – knowing thy customer just became the top issue. Not dropping prices, not mad Groupon like promotions but calculating what really matters the customer.
Target got it right a long time ago and Tesco got it right a long time before.
So as a retailer when are you going to try? Here’s a starting point for you….
Here’s what we do know, there’s a lot of data out there. As 2011/12 appears to be the season of BigData, Hadoop and other lovely tools to play with.
The question is do you really need the answers now?
In terms of social media monitoring (Klout scores don’t count, they’re pretty meaningless to me) then there’s a good reason to attempt to process the firehose of data in realtime (or as close as you can get it), then react and respond. Even then it’s questionable what represents a good response time. Most businesses are interested in their business and not constantly keeping an eye on online feedback.
There’s a pretty good thing to remember in terms of any form of monitoring. If you can’t respond to it immediately then there’s no point measuring it immediately.
Take Tesco for example, though times may of changed from point of sale to data warehouse (the Clubcard is a specialise subject of mine), you only get your points every three months it used the be called the “four Christmases a year”. Even then to start off with only 10% of the data was mined. Once POS technology and connectivity came up to speed I’m sure a lot of more basket data is mined and processed a lot quicker. A perfect use for cloud computing elastic map reduce if you ask me, something I actually said in 2008.
Even with my own startup uVoucher the processing is batched though it can be turned on in to realtime if the retailer wants so. With pure data volume of most small retailers a daily churn of customer data is fine. If the stock is of a time critical nature then realtime customer notification could be the difference between a sale or stock that needs disposing.
I would suggest that 80% of the response could happen within 8-12 hours and there’s no real problem. The customer (assuming they are a customer or a good chance of being a prospect) won’t mind some time between a response.
Mining links, long term financial data rarely happen in realtime. The answers from that mining is then brought back into the decision making algorithms. It all boils down to what answers you want, when you need them and the decisions your customers could make with them.