Get inspired by Academic Research to enrich your customer strategy

On the occasion of the release of Augmented Customer Strategy, Numberly’s Afterwork event honours the 3 co-authors of this book to draw key lessons for 2020.

A few weeks after the release of this new reference book on customer relations, Gilles N’Goala, Virginie Pez-Pérard and Isabelle Prim-Allaz are pleased to present and comment on the latest key findings of customer marketing research professors. Alongside Grégoire Bothorel, our Head of Research, the three co-authors of the book put the term “augmented” into perspective.

“The last Customer Strategy book (Ed. Pearson) was published in 2012 and we felt it was essential to understand how the all-digital age had increased not only consumers, but also tools, data, technologies and organizations,” explains Virginie Pez.

Connected by a common thread, three themes emerge from the book:

Picture of our speakers during the Afterwork

The augmented customers

From a consumer well identified by brands, stable over time, we have entered a radically different era. That of a multi-faceted consumer whose contributions to the company are manifold.
They co-produce with brands, generate data, innovate and therefore contribute in many different ways. “It is important that companies recognize all of these contributions“, says Virginie Pez.

We move from a logic of customizing the relationship to a logic of engaging the client with strategies that seek to recreate this idea of intimacy with the client.

Valuing good non-transactional behaviour is a key issue. Customer engagement is also a subject of research for Numberly, including the construction and implementation of scoring systems to measure and value customer engagement well beyond purchasing behavior. We are also developing measurement approaches that go beyond assessing the impact of marketing actions to understand customer perceptions and therefore the effects on brand equity, for example.

Increased tools and technologies

“The era of multi and cross-channel is giving way to the era of omni-channel” according to Gilles N’Gaoala. This is especially true in our customer journeys which today combines multiple channels, devices and platforms. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for advertisers: a technological challenge to reconcile various digital identifiers with the individual and an opportunity to multiply non-merchant interactions with the customer.

People-based visions are becoming increasingly important in this context and increasingly robust thanks to Customer Data Platforms (CDP). This recognition of individuals, rather than identifiers, makes it possible to measure the impact of a stimulus more accurately than ever before, and to generalize only those that generate a real performance increment. “Let’s hope that 2020 will be the year of experimentation (AB test) in customer strategies, so that, thanks to the measured incrementality, cross-device and cross-platform investments can be illuminated” according to Grégoire Bothorel. The work of Esther Duflo (2019 Nobel Prize in Economics) has also re-demonstrated the robustness of these experimental approaches.

The three co-authors of the book: Gilles N’Goala, Isabelle Prim-Allaz, Virginie Pez

Augmented organisations

Organizational strategies are often less successful than customer strategies. The challenge is to harmonize the available tools and to align them.

Academic research suggests that customer strategies are only effective if they are coupled by a collaborative strategy. “Staff in contact with customers is back at the centre of the game to give brands the empathy necessary for the relationship in a very tool-oriented world” according to Isabelle Prim-Allaz.

The tools must therefore be designed first and foremost to be of service to employees in contact (at the point of sale, call-center or customer service…). The most relevant use cases emerge from this philosophy, where humans and technology work together. “For one of our customers in the banking sector, we have noticed that the navigation data of Internet users on the site play a central role for the call center by enabling call center operators to contact the most relevant people with the right timing and the right offer,” shares Grégoire Bothorel. The results are there both in customer satisfaction (X2) and conversion (+38%).

Cross-fertilization between academia and business

According to Virginie Pez-Pérard, “this type of event is very valuable and allows us to understand the concerns of companies and to adapt our research topics”.

These exchanges were rich and fruitful around this book to which a large number of co-authors contributed. “It’s a chance for us to be in contact with these companies,” says Gilles N’Goala.

“Our academic work has found an echo among professionals who bring new reflections” according to Isabelle Prim-Allaz, who adds “customer strategies should become more disruptive than what we have known until now”.

The Afterwork finished with a Q&A session.