Are you grasping the moment?

One thing is certain; we won’t forget what we did in these very special Corona Virus quarantine days.

And although none of us know how long our confinement is going to last, we do know that it is going to end.

We are experiencing  an unprecedented once in a lifetime chance to do those things we don’t normally do, and to get marketing ship shape for when we are eventually let out, and the wheels start turning full speed again.

Freed from the daily commute and the office banter, we can make real progress with the infrastructure and the customer knowledge that should drive marketing, and which is so often ignored when times are busy.

By now you must have started to build a ‘must do when away from the office’ list; and we have a few suggestions of things that you might consider including:

– finding out which of all your marketing initiatives in the last year actually made you money
– finishing the unmentionable GDPR project
– planning future recruitment to avoid black hole areas
– getting customer data into a single customer view
– asking customers what they like and don’t like about what you do
– making sure you have the dashboards you need to steer the ship
– getting the team to use some of the incredible array of free online training resources
– achieving consensus on the five most important areas to focus once you are free
– and so on, and on. The list can get very long very quickly

We are here to help; as well as our data science and technology arms, we have a marketing consultancy.  Its aim is simply to ensure that you have the tools and the customer knowledge to unlock the most customer value at the least marketing cost.

If you would like us to help you write or deliver on your shortlist, we are here to provide expert support.

For a quick dip into what our consultancy normally covers, then please click here to view a short PowerPoint.

Hoping that we can help you make the best use of the quarantine.


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.


Can marketeers ignore AI and thrive?

“Artificial intelligence is that activity devoted to making machines intelligent, and intelligence is that quality that enables an entity to function appropriately and with foresight in its environment.”

Without wanting in any way to dismiss AI, which can be incredibly useful in many different arenas like driverless cars, we believe that its role for marketers has been exaggerated. Indeed most of what we need is barely within the spectrum of technology normally defined as AI.

For most cases where marketers want to execute one to one personalisation, the area where AI could most appropriately be applied, the conventional propensity model is all that is required.

What is most often meant by personalisation is the means to carry out selections of customers for communications based on their expected response or their particular needs.

Here are some examples where personalisation is often used:

– Targeting apparently dormant customers (e.g. those who in fact have a high probability of being reactivated) with offers to reactivate them
– Making a relevant offer (e.g. based on customer characteristics that imply a higher than average probability of purchasing in a particular product category) of a specific item
– Responding to risk (e.g. predicting which customers are likely to cancel policies or stop ordering) so that they can be presented with good reasons not to abandon their policy or purchase

In each case a conventional predictive model can be built, using an historic set of customer data, where a target customer population can be distinguished from the remainder who have not evidenced reactivation, response, or reduced risk of lapsing.

The key point is that we are not asking for this kind of model to be adaptive to rapidly changing circumstances; instead it relies on past customer behaviour to inform what is likely to happen in the present or near future. And this is because human behaviour in most situations where we are reacting to propositions put to us by marketers tends to remain reasonably constant.

We have even tested propensity models on historic data going back four years and found them to work well.

However, to build and apply these conventional propensity models there are some essential requirements:

– a single customer view to provide the greatest possible depth of customer data
– the ability to update model scores each time new data about an individual arrives
– the availability of data scientists armed with tools like R, SPSS, or SAS

A typical predictive model will take the form of an algorithm which will attribute a probability score to each member of a customer base; we judge the success of these models by the extent to which these scores are differentiated from random in the way they can be used to predict customers’ behaviour.

Looking at a recent model we built for the reactivation of dormant customers, the top customer decile had an index of 330,compared to the bottom decile’s 17.

In another case, a model for product category preference had a top decile index of 601 and bottom decile index of 11.

For most of us marketers these results will be seen as providing a huge improvement on random and quite fit for purpose. However, the methodology used does not in our opinion qualify the models to be correctly described as AI.

If you would like to talk to us about developing propensity models for you, or providing the technology for a single customer view, then please do email us back


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.


McKinsey has defined ‘Modern Marketing’ for us!

McKinsey’s March article ‘Modern Marketing: what it is, what it isn’t, and how to do it’ takes a bold look at all the enablers and capabilities required for marketing today.

Importantly they define the goal of modern marketing as: ‘to leverage data from all consumer interactions to creatively deliver as much relevant one to one marketing as possible’.

This is interesting, not least for some things it omits, such as developing brand awareness.

The article does however give a broad spectrum of their recommendations as listed in the table below.

As providers of a customer data platform technology and data science, we can’t help being excited by the number of areas where the capabilities of our software and analytical services are required by the modern marketer, as indicated by the blue arrows.

Central to their concept of a customer-centric mindset is the need for: ‘a centralised data platform with a unified view of customers, culled from every possible touchpoint; the continuous generation of insights from customer-journey analytics; the measurement of everything consumers see and engage with; and the hiring and development of talented people who know how to translate insights about customers into experiences that resonate with customers’.

In another section they suggest that it is important to ‘elevate consumer insights and analytics’, and that ‘no marketing activities should be executed without the backing of relevant insights and the ability to measure performance’.

There is a lot we found to be of interest and we strongly recommend reading the full article.


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.


Just how personal do you want to get?

There is a lot of interest amongst marketers in personalisation. And yes, we all like to be recognised for what we are. But we suspect that people are becoming wary of trivial personalisation or ‘personalisation lite’.

For example, recognising what I last looked at on a website is reminding me of the blindingly obvious.

However, telling me about a local retail event in the near future that is connected to what I was looking at on a website is much more likely to catch my attention.

And, for a full version of personalisation, understanding that I am a longstanding and loyal customer, rewarding me for my loyalty, and telling me about something that is actually of interest to acquire, really does hit the spot.

So, what is required to make this deeper level of personalisation actually work in practice?

Well, the first item needed is an effective personalisation engine. A tool that decides what kind of personal experience I should receive based on the information it knows about me. These engines work by the marketer setting rules or conditions which if satisfied mean that the customer will be sent a specific version of an email, or see a particular image, or offer on a website.

But next you will need to have joined together the online and offline data worlds. That allows the personalisation engine to know both that you are a loyal customer and that you are interested in a particular kind of merchandise or customer experience.

Most personalisation engines deliver ‘personalisation light’ because they ignore the history of your relationship with the company and just focus on what you have been browsing in the last 24 hours or so.

We have teamed up with Fresh Relevance (see www.freshrelevance.com) as our personalisation engine partner to allow you to give your customers full personalisation.

We manage this by sending Fresh Relevance a nightly feed of customers’ characteristics – factors like loyalty, spend, and long-term merchandise category purchases, so that these can be used in combination with their immediate online activities and behavioural triggers.

UniFida and Fresh Relevance can deliver in combination personalisation that really makes a difference.

To find out more, please email us suggesting a time that would be good for you to have a chat.


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.


Keep it clean!

This somewhat short title reflects the overall approach to data cleansing suggested by our partners the REaD group in their latest report.

In other words, it’s no longer just one trip to the bathroom a year, but rather daily hygiene backed up by a culture that won’t accept any excuses for dirty data.

We partner with the REaD Group for a number of data cleansing services including PAF formatting to get address structures right, and suppression of gone aways and deceaseds.

The amount of dirty data residing in customer databases that they remove never fails to surprise us, or our clients.

If you would like to know how much you have, we can arrange a free audit; this will tell you just how many address duplicates there are, the amount of badly formatted addresses, and the number that should be suppressed.

If you want their report, then please read it here REaD Group Report, and if you would like to arrange an audit then please email us and we will call you to discuss.


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.