medium data

data by CyberHades

Ikea: A Data Matching Love Story

a) What role does data play in a modern agency?

In marketing agencies today, databases play an increasingly vital role, especially in the field of direct marketing (Pickton & Broderick 2005, p. 621). Some businesses – such as ME Bank, which offers services nationwide from its headquarters in Melbourne – rely solely on data-based communications campaigns and trade, foregoing bricks-and-mortar retail locations (Yeates 2014). It is argued that data-driven campaigns allow the focus to remain on the customers’ needs rather than the product, creating greater efficiencies (Pickton & Broderick 2005, p.622).

b) How is data used?

Banks of customer data are used to identify target markets, strategise integrated marketing communications campaigns, deliver communications strategies, and evaluate campaigns (Pickton & Broderick 2005). The key is to capture customers’ data and track their later purchases to build up a better understanding of who they are and their relationship with the company (ibid.). In this way, initiatives and offers can be marketed directly to them through the mail, via email or in-store. The use of rewards cards facilitates the capture of information and the generation of feedback allows companies to identify problems before they escalate (ibid.). Data can be mapped, graphed and analysed to provide a picture of a company’s clientele, how they can be alerted to products, how relationships can be strengthened and how potential customers can be motivated to buy.

c) Find an example of a campaign which resulted from the use of great data insights and discuss why data was so crucial to its success.

Marketing agency Match Media conducted the Data Matching Love Story campaign for IKEA in 2012-13 (Ikea: A Data Matching Love Story n.d.).  The aim was to analyse the correlation between online marketing and in-store sales. Through its website, app, and rewards system, IKEA had silos of customer data that was not integrated into a system, so the data’s meaning was lost to marketers. Match Media, in partnership with Yahoo!7 and Acxiom, ran a competition on the back of TV reality series My Kitchen Rules to build a database of people in the market for a new kitchen, created market personas and advertised to them online. Matching those profiles to rewards card holders who bought kitchens from IKEA after ad exposure, Match Media were able to “close the loop” of online and offline data (Ikea: A Data Matching Love Store n.d.). The campaign yielded concrete metrics that could inform future campaigns.


CyberHades 2012, data, viewed 24 August 2016,

Ikea: A Data Matching Love Story n.d., viewed 13 August 2016,

Pickton, D & Broderick, A 2005, ‘Direct marketing communications’, in  Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp.389-632.

Yeates, C 2014, ‘ME Bank targets younger customers in co-op deal’, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 February, viewed 13 August, 2016,