Both agreed that retailers are swimming in big data. The trick is to use that data to come up with applications that consumers can use. The idea is to provide a platform where consumers can choose to have a relationship with a brand. He likened the exchange of personal data for the content that they want as a sort of tax, similar to broadcast TV “taxing” consumers with commercials. He noted that the younger the audience, the less they are concerned with privacy and the more comfortable they are in exchanging their information for content they want.
Linton spoke about brands standing for more than what they sell by stacking benefits (Amazon = convenience) to build communities. Retailers play an important role in sorting choices by the inventory they choose to sell. Consumers look to retailers to help them identify what products or services are for them. As Linton is currently enterprise chief marketing officer at Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, he likened this process of choice in the insurance business to the past, when consumers went to an insurance agent to sort out the choices. He said the more choices available, the more consumers relate to a brand promise to make their choices.
He said it is important for retailers to look at their financials to know where they make their money. And then to focus the brand on what the consumer wants and keep their message consistent. He believes that ROI, in its proper place, delivers this year’s results and protects next year’s results. He advised that it takes three to five years to build community and that budgets should be assigned to these four boxes:
Short-term results that I know.
Long-term results that I know.
Testing short-term results that I have to find out about.
Testing long-term results that I have to find out about.