Chloé (pictured far-left at the Retail Business Technology Expo)
As part of a new series of articles featuring life at Data Clarity, we thought we’d start with marketing. After all, anticipating the needs of our market is a crucial aspect of our business and an area where we hope our software, particularly products like ClarityOmnivue can deliver most benefits.
We interviewed, Chloé Farmer, who joined Data Clarity in January 2015, and is our Marketing & Customer Relationship Manager. She has an MSc in Marketing and is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
What does your day to day job entail?
My role is split between marketing and customer relationship management. I could be developing a marketing strategy for a new product, sorting the messaging for an exhibition stand or helping the sales team with a sales campaign, and then also talking directly to clients about our products and how they can be improved.
How does this benefit Data Clarity customers/suppliers?
One of the areas in which we are most active, is helping our clients make better informed business decisions by using their data. As a marketer I know full well the headaches that can be caused when data on customers is stored in many different systems and areas of a business. You have the challenges of data duplication, incomplete records, and systems that can’t talk to each other. It’s a nightmare having to login to multiple systems too, I’m forever forgetting passwords. This makes it increasingly difficult to target customers and to provide personalised relevant marketing messages.
My role is to explain the features and benefits of our products in a way that people will instantly understand how they will improve their business performance.
What do you enjoy most about your job and what is your proudest work achievement?
I love my job, and yes, I can be very busy because there are many plates to keep spinning, but that means plenty of variety, new challenges and continuous learning experiences.
Having worked for Data Clarity for three and a half years and witnessed all the hard work and research that has gone into developing our product suite, without doubt my proudest moment was when I heard that our omni-channel product ClarityOminvue had won a national award for Multi-Channel Solution of the Year.
How long have been involved in the industry?
I have been in marketing & PR roles for various Derby based businesses since graduating from University in 2013. I’ve found my move into marketing software products really exciting as it is much easier to define tangible benefits and unique selling points when the deliverables are so visible. I love technology because it is constantly evolving. There is always something new being developed. Whether it is AI or the Internet of Things, the marketplace is constantly evolving as are we as consumers.
As we use technology more and more we churn out more data. My job is to assist businesses by providing them with the software products they need to access their entire business in a simple, easy to use and visually pleasing way –key expectations in this day and age. It isn’t just about producing reports now it’s about ensuring the data gathered is #1 accurate and relevant and #2 seeing the whole picture of a customer from what they have purchased to where and when they shop. This gives valuable business insights and KPI reports that are an asset to any business.
What changes have you seen in the industry?
The biggest change in retailing is the shift to what’s called ‘omni-channel’ retailing, which basically means customers are buying from multiple shopping channels such as online, in store and by phone. They expect to have the same experience. This has caused huge headaches for retailers when profiling customers as they sometimes enter their details differently. So, Mr Anthony Smith who buys online, could call himself Tony Smith when he places a phone order and provide an alternative address!
What changes do you predict in the future?
Sadly, I think more retailers will struggle if they don’t review their business and marketing strategy and give more importance to data. Many are talking of artificial intelligence, but this won’t pay off if their data isn’t reliable in the first place.
Bespoke, tailored and customised are words of the future!
What changes would you like to see and how might they happen?
Personally, I would love to see the end of retailers needing to hold end of season sales.
This may seem a daft thing to say because, like most, I like to bag a bargain during these sales. But from a retailer’s perspective a sale is a sign that the retailer has over stocked on products and has to sell them off at a reduced profit. This means having to build these losses into margins, so one way or another the customer suffers.
If retailers are really using their customer data intuitively they would be able to profile their customer by size, shape, style choices and other demographics to ensure they manufacturer according to this profile.
Ultimately, this benefits everyone. Customers can still be offered a ‘sales’ promotion based on their preferences, but instead of it being an activity to try to recoup costs, the concept is based on rewarding or encouraging customer loyalty.
This ultimately means going back to basics with data, but this investment in getting the process right, is worth it in the long run.