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13 monochrome world Indeed, our ability to analyse customer data to the nth degree, to interpret it this way and that, enables huge, global retailers to reclaim a little piece of old- fashioned retailing. It takes us back to the time when the owner of the local store knew his customers and their shopping habits in intricate detail. This is something Clive calls ' mass intimacy.' Well- analysed customer data empowers retailers with the necessary insights to treat millions of different customers as individuals. It makes big business feel more personal. After all, there is no such thing as an average customer. Online retailers like Amazon have been educating customers about what good personalisation might look like for a number of years. When Amazon gets it right, it recommends relevant new products to its customers and makes the online buying experience as painless as possible. However, Amazon works from a small number of data points and sometimes falls into the trap of extrapolating too much from limited information, leading to a bizarre recommendation based on a single gift purchase. The beauty of analysing grocery data is the pure scale of the information to hand - hundreds of different data points from millions of grocery baskets on a weekly basis. Giles Pavey at dunnhumby is responsible for interpreting the raw facts and figures to draw meaning from the 4bn pieces of data from Tesco shopping baskets we analyse every week. He believes that our biggest success is: " helping a really big business feel more personal. How do you make something quite big and anonymous like a massive grocery chain more engaging? How do you make it feel personal without exclusively pandering to the 1% of Gold Card customers who might spend over £ 25,000 a year in a department store? How do you make it more personal for everybody?" Mick Yates, dunnhumby's Global Business Development Director, sees customer data as a way to reclaim some traditional marketing values. He recalls: " I grew up the old- fashioned way as a brand manager and I was taught that we were there to figure out how to give customers what they wanted. " People who see marketing as sales, who push stuff at customers, don't understand that marketing is about meeting customer needs. Our biggest achievement is adding some science to that and we are getting better and better results because customers are voting with their wallets." Well- analysed customer data empowers retailers with the necessary insight to treat millions of different customers as individuals

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