My customer loyalty fascination stems back to 2002 when I worked with Rippledown Solutions (who then became System42 and then Eurdine Behaviour Engine and then rather sadly sank) at a time when Hadoop was a mere glint in a toy elephant’s eye. We got Nector point data ON A CD! Enough for us to tinker and play with. This led me onto further investigation and my ultimate guilty pleasure, the Tesco Clubcard.
The book “Scoring Points” is the story behind the Clubcard and was the blue print for what I could achieve with the uVoucher loyalty engine, my first startup out of Northern Ireland in 2010/2011 (It’s still there waiting to pounce one day). This morning’s news on Tesco’s woes, planning to close 43 stores and moving BlinkBox on doesn’t come as much surprise, it’s about maintaining the bottom line. What was a slight surprise is the consideration of moving Dunnhumby on to an interested buyer. I wrote Santa a quick letter… WPP have had their eye on Dunnhumby for a while and were willing to stump up the best part of £2bn for it. With customer buying behaviour of over 700 million people there’s some serious data in there.
Why Sell The Keys To The Kingdom?
All the above looks quite shocking but at no point have Tesco said they’re going to stop using Dunnhumby for customer insight. So selling the company which has always been operated as a separate entity makes sense. Sell Dunnhumby and inject the cash back into the business and the pay the new owner to handle the day-to-day Clubcard activities. For Tesco to stop using them would be a costly move and would kill the bottom line and, worse, customer loyalty in the brand. The sale makes perfect sense, though I had to have several cups of tea to wrap my head around the ins and outs of it. If I had the cash (Santa never got back to me this afternoon) I’d buy it on the spot, no I wouldn’t make any of it open data, there’s far too much insight and revenue in that information.