Sydney Opera House Hits the High Notes with Customer Data, and You Can, Too

by Ben Gaines

posted on 10-09-2017

Visitors to the Sydney Opera House get much more than a great performance when they attend an event at Australia’s iconic music venue. Thanks to millions of data points about its customers, the concert hall’s marketing team is able to provide engaging, personalized experiences for patrons — before, during, and after their visit.

By leveraging its treasure trove of data, the Opera House team has developed a deep understanding of how to deliver experiences that resonate with their patrons. The ability to transform customer data into customer intelligence enables marketers to understand what their customers want, when they want it, and how they want it. Making that data actionable translates into great customer experiences.

To glean best practices from the success of the Sydney Opera House, we asked Ben Gaines, senior product manager for Adobe Analytics Cloud and resident expert on planning for digital marketing success, to share some practical tips on how to improve your marketing with better customer intelligence.

Ben, with so much data available how can we distill actionable customer intelligence?
It can be tempting to think you need to centralize and utilize every piece of customer info. I am a big believer in big data, but you have to narrow your focus to get the best customer intelligence.

Take inventory of all your potential data sources and identify which ones will provide the most relevant information for the intelligence you are trying to acquire. You can determine relevancy by understanding your customer journey. This helps you know which data points are going to impact your marketing and lead to better customer experiences.

Narrowing your customer intelligence sources can also help with your data hygiene efforts. Once you have determined which data sources are most relevant, you can focus your efforts on ensuring the integrity of those sources. Start by working to integrate the two most relevant sources, and build from there.

Where should we start when implementing a customer intelligence program?
First, having a customer ID is a key to good customer intelligence because, without a view of the customer that you can tie across channels and devices, it’s difficult to personalize experiences or optimize your marketing mix. A great way to do this is to join the Adobe Device Co-op.

Second, you need to leverage data from multiple sources across your enterprise. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that other departments in your organization have data that is useful to your marketing efforts. This is especially true of CRM data, which is probably the best complement to your analytics data.

Third, you have to create data partnerships. Second-party data is often an underutilized source of customer intelligence. It comes from a strategic partnership with an organization that has first-party data that is complementary to your own. Creating data partnerships can be a great way to add additional color to your audience profiles, and give you competitive differentiation.

How should I staff my customer intelligence team for success?
As digital marketing teams mature and start to gather more customer information from more sources, they will likely run into a gap between the potential of customer analytics and the skillsets necessary to make it actionable. Data scientists are often the right solution, but it can be very difficult to find someone with the right mix of analytics smarts, flexibility, and business savvy to fill that spot on your organization chart.

If you aren’t lucky enough to secure an in-house data scientist, hire someone who thinks like a data scientist. Also, make sure you have the right analytics and data management technology tools to help produce the insights that often require a data scientist.

What else should we think about from an organizational perspective?
Aligning your teams, your processes, and your technology can help you position your company to receive the maximum benefit from your data. You’ll be able to improve your decision-making and use your marketing budget more efficiently and effectively.

But, remember, better customer intelligence isn’t just about saving time and money, it’s about understanding what makes your customers tick. When you really know your customers, you can start to create experiences that they will connect with in a personal and meaningful way. Once you do that, you’ll be hitting the high notes.

For information and guidance on how to implement a customer intelligence strategy, read our how-to guide.

Topics: Media & Entertainment

Products: Analytics