Tesco's new Clubcard move: it's not often we see 'fun' and 'data' in the same sentence

There was a time when marketing journalists filed stories about data in the drawer marked 'd' for dull. Now, however, data has been reinvented as Big Data and that Daddy of data owners, Tesco, gets to use the words 'data' and 'fun' in the same sentence.

Tesco has just announced a 10% fall in group profits to £1.6bn. The retailer’s share price is already depressed and chief executive Philip Clarke has put the brakes on opening new stores while existing ones are spruced up.

Looks like he’s applying the same logic to Clubcard, the loyalty scheme Tesco has doggedly maintained despite its huge cost.

Tesco is planning a brand extension called Clubcard Play, recruiting managers for the yet-to-be launched service aimed at giving Clubcard holders ‘useful, fun access to their own data’.

Now, it’s not often we get to see the words ‘data’ and ‘fun’ in the same sentence. As engagement propositions go, allowing consumers access to their transactional data isn’t quite up there with free tickets to see Adele or even double Clubcard points.

But in launching Clubcard Play, Britain’s biggest grocer can’t be accused of missing an opportunity: Midata, the government-sponsored plan to encourage brands to give consumers access to their transaction records, will become mandatory next year.

Cynics will see Clubcard Play as a defensive move against an initiative the British Retail Consortium describes as an 'additional burden' on retailers and one that offers consumers 'little benefit'.

Yet if any brand was to make a virtue out of such a necessity, it would be Tesco. Since Clubcard’s debut back in 1995, Tesco has mined the gold in the scheme by selling its data back to suppliers. Now it is seeing diamonds in that same data.

Rivals take note. Sainsbury’s, we have no doubt, is working on its own Midata scheme with Nectar.

The challenge for Tesco will be to make the consumer – the right, elusive sort, not those who habitually respond to offers and games - bother to do something with their data.

But by investing in Clubcard Play now, Tesco is upping its personalisation game to ensure consumers won’t see any point in passing their data to another brand’s application.

At the very least, whatever the long term prognosis on Clubcard, the new scheme will provide reasons to engage once more with the Tesco brand, in a richer, less passive way than before.

Noelle McElhatton is editor of Marketing
noelle.mcelhatton@haymarket.com or tweet her at n_mcelhatton

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug