Long time champion of consumer data

By Alexander Speirs

Stephen England-Hall.
Stephen England-Hall.

The New World campaign wasn't unique, it's still an email. What was unique was the algorithms, segmentation modelling and underlying use of data sets.

The Fly Buys customer loyalty scheme has been a mainstay in Kiwi wallets for nearly two decades, but Loyalty New Zealand also happens to be well ahead of the curve with its use and development of data technologies.

Since its establishment in 1996, Loyalty NZ has rewarded customers in exchange for gaining unparalleled access to data and information about them and their spending behaviours.

"Loyalty is in a really interesting spot because we've almost been the consumer champion of data in New Zealand to the extent we have been around for a long time looking after consumers' data, permissions, and behaviours in a commercial context with great care," says Stephen England-Hall, CEO of Loyalty New Zealand.

With more than 70 per cent of New Zealand households actively engaged in the Fly Buys programme and a network consisting of thousands of retail outlets, Loyalty NZ generates an enormous amount of data every day.

"What we have found though, is that it's not always the biggest data which is the most useful; it is all about the ability to contextualise the data to a particular problem," says England-Hall.

Loyalty NZ still invests significantly in the innovation process around its use of data. "We've spent a lot of time and money developing intellectual property to use data sets in smarter and smarter ways where the outcomes are more directly linked."

Its approach to using data differs by working backwards - having an end goal and then working from there to collate the appropriate data and decide how best to analyse it in order to gain the insight it set about to achieve.

The innovation process is predicated on perpetually aspiring to remain relevant to consumers and businesses. Says England-Hall, "In order for the programme to stay relevant and for the consumer to get more value, we have to constantly probe how the programme works, how we use data, and evolve our offerings."

Loyalty NZ put some of its new technology on display in a campaign for New World last year that drew international attention and a slew of awards. Promoting New World's latest wine sale, consumers were "hyper-targeted" with bespoke advertising based on their wine preference, shopping and spending patterns, and previous time and seasonal variations.

"Every single one of those communications was individualised right down to the glasses, so the images of the glasses were different whether you bought red or white wine. It was hugely successful," said England-Hall. The marketing efforts were used in three campaigns for New World, which resulted in an 8 per cent overall average sales lift. "The campaign itself wasn't unique - it's still an email. What was unique was the algorithms, segmentation modelling and underlying use of data sets."

- NZ Herald

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