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59 a golden age " At your last trip did you discover what earth people eat? They eat a lot of these ( shows potato). They peel them with their little knives ( much laughter), boil them for 20 minutes ( more laughter) and then they smash them all to bits! Clearly, a most primitive people." Cadbury's Smash Martians TV ad, 1973

60 In 1973, British households were spellbound by a TV ad from Cadbury's. It featured a family of aliens, the Smash Martians, who laughed at the thought of Earth people preparing their own mashed potatoes rather than using convenience food, Smash. In a future world flooded with data and ever- more customer- centric companies who shape strategy around customer insights, there may be similar amusement around the way we used to do marketing. Imagine sending the same piece of mail to millions of customers when only 1% will open it! Fancy broadcasting an identical ad to millions of TV viewers when most won't be interested in buying your product and the rest might not be watching! Ha ha! Cast back to a time when your local supermarket knew nothing about your shopping habits and treated you the same as everyone else! The hilarity of it all! So this tidal wave of customer data offers opportunities for consumers and businesses and could completely transform the world of marketing in the future, for the good of both parties. Let's look at what that future might look like. Kroger's health check In the not too distant future, the knowledge stored on loyalty cards like Tesco Clubcard could revolutionise the shopping experience in supermarkets. Soon checkout or even trolley screens will be able to guide and alert customers to relevant offers available in the store. This is already happening through the Tesco quarterly statement, but imagine if customers could be prompted and reminded as they were walking through the store... In the US, Kroger is using data to protect its customers from potential health threats. Since 2008, the US retailer has been identifying and contacting customers who purchased products that were later recalled. Dozens of customers have called Kroger to thank them, saying they feel grateful that their purchases are tracked to protect them. The daughter of a Kroger customer had been hospitalised with an undiagnosed illness, with medical treatments making little progress. Then her mother's attention was called to a product recall message on her receipt by a Kroger cashier. Doctors quickly focused on treating a food- borne illness, and the daughter recovered. any colour you like as long as it's any colour you like