Know Your Customers' Social Value

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Know Your Customers' Social Value

By Tim Denman - 09/15/2014
Retailers have known for years that some shoppers are more engaged with their brand than others. But the true influence of a connected customer has been unmeasurable until now.  

With the advent of big data and real-time social analytics retailers now have the ability to track and measure a customer's influence and personalize their messages to keep those most valuable members of their community engaged. At the inaugural Retail & Consumer Goods Analytics Summit, USC associate professor and CEO and co-founder of Ninja Metrics wowed those in attendance as he explored "C2C Analytics: The Next Wave of Shopper Analytics."

Williams started his exploration of the power of C2C analytics by comparing and contrasting what he calls A-Social Value and Social Value. A-Social Value is how much the product or service, alone, is driving spending. Social Value is the ability of a person to influence spending through his/her interaction with others in their social circle.  
Humans are increasingly conducting their communication digitally and their social circles — and consequently social value — are being formed via social media. Savvy retailers are tracking their customer's web behavior and building social graphs based on their online activity. Through the study of these social graphs forward-thinking retailers are able to discover who among their customers have the greatest social value and have the potential to move the economic needle.

Those with the greatest social value are the crown jewels of a retailer's social network and should be treated as such, with personalized offers, promotions, and communication. "Through the study of a customer's social behavior retailers can discover who they need to maintain as a customer," Williams says. "And how much they should be willing to spend to keep them."

Williams used the simple example of a smiling face. When someone smiles at us, we instinctively smile back. That reciprocal relationship is evident in the online space as well — satisfied/dissatisfied shoppers with large levels of social value have the ability to spread their attitude toward a retailer with surprising ease.

"Retailers need to think local on a human level," Williams says. "That is how influence happens." In the social media space the number of "likes" a retailer has pales in comparison to the power to their most engaged and influential customers.

The inaugural Retail & Consumer Goods Analytics Summit event was held September 11-12, 2014 at the W Hotel in San Diego, California. The conference featured keynotes from retail and consumer goods leaders, peer-to-peer exchanges and relationship building. For more information about the even click here.