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Tesco ‘absolutely concerned’ about the impact of GDPR on Clubcard

The biggest shake-up to data laws is finally under way after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on Friday (25 May). And the UK’s largest supermarket is worried about the impact it will have on how it uses Clubcard data.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Tesco’s chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini says only “time will tell” whether the new data laws will have a detrimental effect on what is undoubtedly one of Tesco’s greatest assets, given it holds more than two decades’ worth of customer data.

“I am absolutely concerned it will have an impact on Clubcard,” she says. “Everything that we do through both the CRM programme and the Clubcard programme is impacted.”

But “so far so good,” says Bellini, who has now been at Tesco for just over a year. Looking ahead, Bellini believes GDPR will give Tesco the opportunity to “be more relevant” and “earn trust” – something the supermarket has been desperately trying to do over the past few years following a number of instances that have put it in the national headlines for all the wrong reasons.

“Whether it’s your colleagues’ or your customers’ data, [if you demonstrate] that their privacy is very important to you then you earn the trust to do things with that data that is relevant for them,” Bellini says.

“It’s a responsibility and an opportunity to engage with our customers in ways that might be more relevant. How can we use our data to make sure you only get the offers, discounts and communication that you care about? We’re wasting less of your time, we’re giving you something that is more relevant, that’s good use of data and people appreciate that.”

Clubcard also plays a crucial role in the way Tesco measures marketing effectiveness as it allows the supermarket to cross-reference the data with sales, which is perhaps an even bigger incentive to use people’s data appropriately.

“The great opportunity and strength of Tesco is that we have the ability to look at Clubcard data and to really measure the impact of anything and everything our UK Clubcard customers do,” Bellini explains.

“So it’s really interesting to look at all the marketing activities and see how much we are able to convert either sales or perception of the brand.”

Alessandra Bellini will be speaking at the Festival of Marketing, which will take place on 10 and 11 October at Tobacco Dock in London. Visit the website for more information and to buy tickets.

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