Morrisons is planning to ramp up its data-driven marketing strategy after admitting its current loyalty programme – the Collector Card – hampered its ability to tailor offers over the festive period and contributed to its poor performance.
The retailer, which has 12 million customers, revealed a 5.6% fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas this morning (Thursday). It has also been criticised for its lack of marketing strategy by retail analyst Phil Dorrell, who told the BBC that Morrisons was “old fashioned”.
Speaking to analysts, Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips said: “In an increasingly sophisticated and data driven market [the Morrisons Christmas Collector card] is just not as effective as it was when we launched it five years ago…we have been investing strongly in our systems and we are now in the position to begin trialling a different mechanism to offer innovative and personalised incentives.”
Late last year Morrisons appointed digital agency Tribal to put technology at the heart of the business. The Omnicom agency joined its existing roster of agencies led by DLKW and will work on Morrisons’ digital communications strategy and messaging.
Morrisons will begin the first trial of personal customer communications within eight weeks and the supermarket aims to be able to offer all customers personalised rewards later in the year, with the initiative replacing the Collector Card. Its online offering is currently being rolled out.
The move comes as Waitrose and John Lewis cited the launch of their respective CRM programmes as one of the key factors in their Christmas success. Meanwhile Sainsbury’s boss Justin King said its partnership with Nectar had been crucial to sales and Tesco’s Philip Clarke said Clubcard had helped the supermarket “work a bit harder”.
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