INside Performance Marketing
Struggling with Christmas shopping? It’s all about insight…

Struggling with Christmas shopping? It’s all about insight…

We all have those friends or family members that are impossible to buy Christmas presents for. How do you go about it? Do they have a list? Do they say those dreaded words – “surprise me”?

Whoever the person, the question remains the same: just how do you go about getting the perfect Christmas gift for friends and family?

It may surprise you to hear that the answer lies in technology, and specifically, gaining a deeper insight into the individual through social affinity. The key is in the quality of the data, utilising information from a raft of different sources to drive a level of understanding of an individual’s likes and dislikes that has never been possible before.

We’ve used our pioneering technology, with a topic graph at its heart to drive real consumer insight. This data structure encodes millions of concepts and links them based on ontological, categorical, semantic and affinity-based relationships. This four-pronged approach ensures that, when someone talks about a specific TV show, for example, we understand what else they will be interested in – from other TV programmes to their preferred retail brands or fast food.

This data is derived from three main sources – semantic and categorical relationships are extracted from Wikipedia, ontological relationships from Freebase and affinity from millions of social network profiles.

When you’ve done this, you’ve got an unprecedented insight into that special person’s perfect gift, and you might be surprised by the results. Here’s 12 Christmas Insights to illustrate how the technology works:

Mother-in-Law likes the Great British Bake Off + Next + John Lewis + This Morning + Pimms

WE BOUGHT – A CATH KIDSTON BAG

Dad likes Red Hot Chilli Peppers + photography + Tough Mudder charity events + Snowboarding + Jackass on the TV

WE BOUGHT – GOPRO CAMERA

Little Brother likes McDonalds + the Black Eyed Peas + Pirates of the Caribbean + Finding Nemo + the Lion King

WE BOUGHT – MONOPOLY BOARD GAME

Girlfriend likes Adele + Topshop + OPI nail varnish + Starbucks + Michael Kors

WE BOUGHT – MAC Makeup

Boyfriend likes Inbetweeners + Match of the Day + Pot Noodle + Tinie Tempah + Adidas

WE BOUGHT – TOPMAN VOUCHER

Sister likes Katy Perry + Coca Cola + YouTube + Nandos + Selena Gomez

WE BOUGHT – THE TAYLOR SWIFT ALBUM, 1989

Teenage Cousin likes The Hunger Games + Ed Sheeran + YouTuber Jacks Harries + Hank Green + Perks of being a Wallflower

WE BOUGHT – THE FAULT IN OUR STARS DVD

Housemate likes Lord of the Rings + Breaking Bad + Star Wars + Boardwalk Empire + Batman films

WE BOUGHT - GAME OF THRONES BOX SET

Mum loves Sting + Blondie + Adele + Simply Red + Amy Winehouse

WE BOUGHT – THE NEW ANNIE LENNOX ALBUM

Crazy Uncle likes Tim Minchin + Blackadder + David Attenborough + Big Bang Theory + Stephen Hawking

WE BOUGHT – A BOOK BY PROFESSOR BRIAN COX

Nan loves Coronation Street + X Factor + Mrs Brown’s Boys + Ebay + Lancome

WE BOUGHT – YANKEE CANDLES

Best Friend likes the Kings of Leon + Noel Fielding + Family Guy + Jimmy Carr + Superbad film

WE BOUGHT – RUSSELL BRAND’S NEW BOOK

The technology behind these insights is a huge leap beyond anything seen before. So, while it’s great to use it to discover that your brother would love to spend hours over Christmas playing Monopoly, in reality, the implications for brands and retailers are far more valuable than simply alleviating the headache of Christmas shopping.

Driving consumer insight through social affinity will have significant implications for any brand that seeks to deeply understand what the customer wants, needs and will ultimately purchase. Data from things like purchasing history can take you so far, but if you want to know your customer as an individual, then social affinity will reveal far more than simply knowing their age, sex and what they previously bought.

Think of the implications here – this kind of insight could impact on decisions from which lines to stock or which products to develop, to how individual customers are targeted with advertising, right through to which products are placed where within a retail outlet.

The possibilities are endless for the smart retailer or brand who understand that, with competition fiercer than ever, knowing your customer on a personal, individual level will be the key to success.

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Ruth Peters

Ruth Peters

Ruth Peters is VP of Marketing at Intent HQ. Previous to working for the company, Ruth was Sales and Marketing Director and a founder member of VYRE Ltd. VYRE was a brand asset management and marketing resource management SaaS provider and Ruth was instrumental in growing it from a start-up to market leader and helping to guide its sale to Accel-KKR in 2012. Prior to this, Ruth worked in a marketing and business development capacity at Getty Images, The Guardian and September Films.

Read more from Ruth

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