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Know Your Shoppers (Collection) by Richard Hammond, Herb Sorensen

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5Brands, Retailers, and Shoppers: Why the Long Tail Is Wagging the Dog

“Whenever an individual or business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.”

—Thomas J. Watson, Founder of IBM

There is a famous story about when Tesco started trials of its loyalty card, Clubcard, in the mid-90s. The retailer called on the services of Dunnhumby, a company specializing in data analysis. The results of these first trials were delivered to the Tesco board in November 1994—which led to a prolonged and awkward silence.

The board chewed over a 30-minute presentation about customer response rates, the impact on like-for-like sales, and a dazzling array of data collected from 14 stores. It was Sir Ian McLaurin, then Tesco chairman, who broke the silence ...

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