Henny Steiniger – MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group
Henny Steiniger is the Head of Customer Intelligence & Customer Experience at the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group, the international retail company for consumer electronics. She is responsible for the transnational collection of customer data, data interpretation and the development of strategies. In terms of revenue, sales and headcount, the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group is Europe’s leading consumer electronics retailer and provider of related services. The company includes the brands MediaMarkt, Saturn, PEAQ, KOENIC, ISY and ok.
Main KPIs for brand growth
Brand awareness, consideration, preference and the brand strength index are KPIs that play an important role at MediaMarktSaturn, says Henny. They are not all equally important, but they are analytically linked to one another: “They are brought together in such a way that one can conduct driver analyses for certain target variables. There is a driver analysis behind each of these KPIs and results vary for each country, so even though the analysis is the same, the results can be quite different. The values then flow into different models, e.g. into the media mix model.” The most important growth drivers are consideration and preference, she elaborates: “There are basically two types of use cases in the consumer electronics industry. The need to buy arises because you want to either buy something new, or you have to buy something because, for example, the refrigerator or washing machine is broken. In both cases, we want to be top-of-mind, which is why consideration is so important to us. The ultimate level is then certainly preference.”
Data-driven decision making
Henny describes MediaMarktSaturn as a company with a data-driven approach that works intensively with customer data and customer segmentation: “I would describe us as a company with a data-driven approach, but certainly with some potential for optimisation, for example when it comes to data quality in some areas. And also with regards to connecting the different data streams and the interpretations that are drawn from them. We already work very intensively with customer data, but there is a lot more possible. In theory, there are also many more opportunities, but that differs from what can be done in practice because of European legislation for instance. You have to be careful with the constantly changing rules. Another challenge we are still facing is connecting the different customer data sources.”
The data is analysed by a special department at MediaMarktSaturn, but there are also some departments that have their own data scientists who work on departmental and country-specific projects. However, the tendency is more towards a strong, central approach, says Henny: “There is a tendency towards a strong, central approach to ensure data harmonisation, availability and quality. Above all, we want to have a central authority for interpretation, but with the goal to localise it in the different countries.”
The biggest challenges
The interpretation of data and deriving strategies from it, is one of the greatest challenges, believes Henny: “It is a challenge to draw the right conclusions from the data. You have the data, but what does it mean? What is the real insight? For example, you see the consideration going down, but you don’t know why. Usually, there are many reasons and they must first be identified and weighted. And then a strategy has to be derived from that, which is the biggest challenge from my point of view.” When interpreting the data, close cooperation with the different countries and specialist departments is extremely important, she emphasises: “Many interpretations can only be made with the respective point of view of the country, therefore we work closely together with the countries and the specialist departments.”
Forwarding the information to the various departments is an additional challenge, adds Henny: “In such a large company, the information does not arrive everywhere at the same time. It also happens that, for example, the information arrives, but then the context is missing. It is a challenge to package it in such a way that the different recipients, who also have different responsibilities, can handle it well.”
Application of new technologies
“Our company is definitely open to innovation when it comes to the use of new technologies,” says Henny. MediaMarktSaturn has an entity, Next, which introduces start-ups with a strong technical focus to the company. The business purpose of Next is to screen the market for innovative technologies and to evaluate them for the company. When choosing the tools, extra care is taken to ensure that the data generated can be handled and implemented well, she explains: “For us, success is determined by how well we can work with the data generated, that means, how well it can be implemented. It’s not a simple decision, but there are tools that we part with because we find that the data cannot be handled well or is difficult to implement. That is one of the most important criteria.”
What are the changes that lie ahead?
For Henny, it is already clear that data-driven decision making will definitely play a bigger role in the future and that the required profile for the people in the company will change: “There was once a primal fear that these new technologies would make people superfluous. I don’t see it that way, but the roles and required profiles for the people who work in the company will change. New technologies will penetrate all areas, but the usability in all areas is also the exciting part.” Companies that Henny sees as role models in that area are among others Procter & Gamble and Coca Cola.