Target, Google and Starbucks Embrace Agile Data as the New Norm for Marketing to Millennials™

Posted by: Leah Swartz

Thinking about millennials, data is typically the last thing that most marketers tend to address. The majority of brands are spending their time in the social sphere focusing on how to engage millennials on a digital level. However, data agility is a key foundational concept that most brands are just now starting to apply.

What is Agile Data?

Like the concept itself, the definition of agile data is constantly changing and being adapted to new marketing models and strategies. Generally, agile data refers to the information a company, brand, firm, agency, etc. receives from its consumers and the ability to then quickly transform that data into a functioning asset.

For example, the Target Cartwheel app is already excelling in creating customized app content for its users as a result of the data that is collected on a daily basis regarding previous purchases and buying patterns. Based on what it knows about its customers from the app, Target can then recommend coupons, discounts and content that is relevant to users on an individual level.

As a devoted Carthwheel app user, I often scroll through and select the coupons I plan on using before I head to the store. But how much more beneficial would it be if Target was able to proactively help me plan my shopping trip? What if Target sent me a Cartwheel notification on Tuesday as a reminder to get more paper towels because when I went to the store two weeks ago I used the coupon on my app for Up and Up Brand paper towels?

Now, not only do I have a legitimate reason to shop at Target (besides browsing the shoe aisle) but I have also made a plan to head to the store because I do, in fact, need more paper towels.

This is only one example of the high level of individual data brands have regarding their consumers and the immense opportunities that are available for brands to activate their audiences. The key is to leverage that information to create something that is beneficial and customized so consumers feel more comfortable sharing their personal data.

What does this mean for marketers?

Today, there is an endless stream of brand options consumers must face. The key is for brands to ask themselves, “How can what we know about our consumers be used to make the shopping experiences easier, more efficient, and more beneficial to the consumer?”

Millennials are the most likely generation to be willing to share personal information about themselves but only to brands that actually do something with that information. Price deductions and special offers are one avenue for implementing consumer data (shopping preferences, behaviors, attitudes, etc.) but the most inspired brands are reaching beyond that standard and creating completely customized and tailored content for their consumers based on the data they are providing.

“Masterful integration of the data is what makes the real difference,” said Anthony Wolch, Chief Creative Officer at Engagement Labs. When asked how agility played into the data game, he responded, “Agile Data is the science of optimization.”

Brands that want to optimize their marketing strategies to engage millennial consumers must adapt to a strategy that will allow them to use the information they have about their customers to create custom content and messages that inspire action. Brands like Target, Google and Starbucks are leading the agile data revolution and the brands that don’t jump on board now will quickly be forgotten.

About Leah Swartz

Leah worked on the FutureCast team as a Senior Content Specialist. Her articles about Millennial trends and engagement tactics have been featured in PSFK, Forbes, The New York Times, American Business Journals and more. She...See Leah's full bio.

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