Sainsbury’s mulls review for combined marketing brief

sainsbury.jpg 2Sainsbury’s is poised to launch a review of its digital and data-driven marketing account as part of a long-term aim to consolidate activity across the Sainsbury’s and Argos brands.

The group has reportedly issued an RFI for a review of its integrated digital creative, content, social and CRM business.

The company uses a raft of agencies across the two brands, including The & Partnership, VCCP, Essence, Wieden & Kennedy, PHD, Table19, Gravity Road and Organic. Iris handles the Sainsbury’s-owned Nectar loyalty scheme.

The group’s long-term aim is to become a purely data-driven business and now uses Nectar to build a clearer picture of its customer base across its four divisions of Sainsbury’s, Argos, Tu and Habitat.

At the time it purchased the loyalty club from Aimia for £60m, Sainsbury’s said: “One of our strategic aims is to know our customers better than anyone else and obviously having ownership of the Nectar scheme allows us to do this and it’s a great opportunity.”

Sainsbury’s quest to be a data-driven business was further boosted in June last year, when then new chief executive Simon Roberts moved both chief digital director Clodagh Moriarty and chief marketing officer Mark Given up the corporate ladder on his first day in the top job.

The retailer already gathers data from multiple sources; it has over 18.5 million members of the Nectar scheme and claims to have 33 million customer records at its disposal. It also has a partnership with both Accenture and Google to implement machine learning technology to identify what customers want and the trends driving their eating habits.

However, it does not always get it right. Last month, the company faced the wrath of its most loyal customers following its decision to meddle once more with the Nectar scheme, pulling weekly offers from many deal-hungry members.

The company declined to comment on the agency review.

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