To that end, Weir also advised prioritising the most valuable use cases and data opportunities; while there might be hundreds of possible opportunities to use data to optimise aspects of the consumer journey, not all of them will be worthwhile or actionable. She recommended asking the following questions to determine value:
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Do we have the team to do it?
Is it going to drive us gain?
Can we do it quickly?
Barilla’s data team uses a proof of concept cycle to determine which solution is worth putting its collective energies into. “We want to test it; we want to see if it works; and as a global organisation, we need to pilot it with a certain market or region first, before taking it out to that huge beast that is a multinational CPG,” Weir explained.
The team adopts a ‘test and learn’ and ‘it’s fine to fail’ mentality throughout this process. “We’ve got our use case; we know what we’re trying to test, and at the end of the day, what we’re trying to improve for the consumer; and then we take that through an eight- to twelve-week cycle to bring it to life at small scale at first. If it works, we can then scale that, embed it, and drive it across the business.”
She also emphasised that investment is key: in people, in understanding, in tools, in feedback, and in quality measurement. “It’s important to get it right every step of the way if you’re going to improve your consumer journey.”
2) Quality data
Obviously, none of this is possible to do without data; but many organisations, Weir said, wonder how they can get hold of the data they need in order to achieve what they want. Her advice was to “start being brilliant at the basics”.
“Look at what you’ve already got, as an organisation, and look at how you can bring that into one place to democratise that data, clean it up, and allow people to have access to it, to start asking, ‘So what?’”
Getting access to quality data also comes back, once again to putting the consumer front of mind: why should they give you their data? “These days, it’s really rare for people to want to give over their email address for no reason,” said Weir.
“You’re going to have to be a privacy-first organisation; they need to trust that the way you store [the data] is secure; and also, you need some good value exchanges.”