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The Middle East and North African regions have traditionally bet their economic fortunes on oil. But a new gusher of data offers opportunities for retailers in the region to drill down on customer spending habits and more, unearthing new opportunities for economic prosperity.
Advances and investments in digital commerce—and ways to measure it—offer a boost to the MENA retail sector, which is forecast to grow 4.6 percent region-wide next year.
“These are huge advancements in the world of retail and that means a massive growth opportunity for regional retailers,” says Booz Allen Hamilton Vice President Danny Karam. “However, this also intensifies the pressure on retailers to revisit the way they engage with customers and adapting their business models to changing preferences in the region.”
We’ve worked with MENA clients that serve millions of customers every day and contribute financial stability in a region that for too long relied on oil alone. Our clients need a deep understanding of their customers to serve them, but many haven’t yet started to track their customers’ spending habits. That means examining the massive amounts of data that so far have gone largely untapped.
“We're building an army of data scientists across our firm and the world. Some of our brightest are using advanced machine learning algorithms to identify unique customers.”
- Booz Allen Vice President Danny Karam
We’ve developed a “Customer Analytics Lifecycle” that, as a critical first step, helps identify the customer decision data points that matter most to a retailer, as well as the areas where customer analytics can be most impactful,” says Jad Rahbani, a Booz Allen management and technology leader.
Then we identify the attributes that affect a customer decision and begin collecting data to create a customer analytics model. Then our data scientists—armed with the right customer research questions and insights—use machine learning, classification, graph theory, scoring, forecasting models, and other techniques to model and predict customer responses.
None of this matters, however, if the model can’t impact a customer decision, so the model’s effectiveness and accuracy are continuously tweaked and improved.
The math reveals demographics and personal details of customers as well as purchasing behavior. And that data is used to craft real time, laser-focused, proactive customer campaigns.
The point is to look at the whole customer, then market directly to that persons needs and preferences, instead of mass producing coupons, discounts and other offerings that reach everyone, but speak to no one.
We’re helping our clients morph into data-driven businesses and bringing the first of its kind thinking and leadership in the MENA region.
“It feels great to see how marketing directors have shifted their mindsets and started applying our techniques and leveraging our insights when reaching customers,” says Cyril Semaan, a Booz Allen analytics expert. “Or when a client’s IT team is wowed by next-gen Wi-Fi intelligence and analytics.”
“We’ve got the technology and data analytics expertise to drive growth and change,” Jad says. “We’re now working on helping our clients adopt a data-driven culture within their organization. It’s our model: to capitalize on the power of customer analytics, put innovation, analytics and customer-centricity at the core of the corporate culture.”
What’s your data does your data have to say? We’ve got data scientists all over the globe who can tell you.