How EY and the British & Irish Lions used customer data to build the Tour app

We live in a world of data. Capturing it can be the key to building field-leading customer experiences.

Marketing breathes data. This data is more than just points and pieces of information about customers. Used effectively, it can be a whole new language through which brands and organizations can engage directly with their customers. 

It’s quickly become the main fuel source for the engines of digital global commerce. 

However, according to EY studies, only 26% of surveyed businesses considered themselves as being driven by commercial data analytics. But, what exactly do we mean when we say customer data?

A world of data

Any aspect of customer behavior or activity that can be quantified can become marketable data. This data can be as rudimentary as how somebody clicks around a website or as in-depth as written feedback surveys. Everything helps the digital marketer build a profile of their customer base. Customer data can be broken down roughly into three main types:

  • Behavioral: This is the raw data about how a customer behaves — much of it gathered algorithmically. Behavioral data includes things, such as how a customer clicks through a website or how long they stay on certain pages. It can be used to optimize content for user experience or predict future customer trends. 
  • Descriptive: This is the data that captures directly measurable, objective facts about customers, such as name, age and address.
  • Attitudinal: This data describes how customers emotionally relate to content, as expressed through things, such as page likes, response surveys and reviews. 

This list is not exhaustive, and by cross-referencing pools of data, marketers can gain ever deeper insights into the behaviors of increasingly sharply defined groups of customers. 

Where to go data shopping

If data is the primary fuel source for digital marketing, then the invention of the internet and the advent of global connectivity has been the equivalent of striking the biggest oil field in history.

And, the field of data collection continues to widen with the rise of IoT and other online-to-offline (o2o) technologies and sensors. For instance, retailers can use phone Wi-Fi to track customer movements around shops, and then optimize layout or product ranges according to where customers were spending the most time. 

How did the British & Irish Lions use this data to build the app?

The British & Irish Lions used customer data to build the app for its 2013 Tour of Australia. The difference was, back then, it only had access to a user’s email address and name. Over the intervening years, analytics capabilities have grown with the result that the Lions can be much more far-reaching in its customer engagement strategies, including the setting up of “The Pride” database. Allowing social logins onto its services also opened up a much deeper source of user data than what the Lions previously had access to. Before building the 2017 app, this social data was augmented through several weeks of workshopping directly with fans. 

For the 2017 app release, EY provided social media analytics capabilities to the development team, looking in particular at how fans reacted to the app four years ago. EY also looked at what fans were saying about the 2017 Lions Tour during key rugby moments, such as the run-up to the Six Nations and during key announcements, such as the selection of the Lions coaching team and squad announcement. EY has also been tracking fan social media sentiment in the months leading up to the Tour to help fans continue to get the best experience possible

Discover More