TORONTO: Loblaw, Canada's biggest food retailer, is tapping into customer data to identify its most valuable shoppers and target them with tailored deals and marketing messages, helping it achieve "mass customisation".

Uwe Stueckmann, the svp/marketing for Loblaw Companies Ltd, discussed this aspect of the organisation's strategy at a recent conference.

And he reported that mass-marketing model, which effectively treats every customer in the exactly the same way, is out-of-date.

"That logic is simply no longer relevant in today's day and age, and our customer expects more than that from us," said Stueckmann. (For more, including details of Loblaw's pioneering private-label strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Loblaw's Canadian power strike: mass customisation for generics.)

"Our best customers expect more than that from us. And our best customers deserve more than that," he said.

Some 13m consumers across Canada visit one of the company's stores – which operate under various banners – each week.

Drilling down into the data provided as its clientele complete transactions has allowed Loblaw to make much smarter decisions regarding how to reach out to its most valuable patrons.

"They swipe cards when they pay for their purchase, and that generates a data stream that we can use to be much more intelligent about identifying those customers that are worth more to us," said Stueckmann.

Having done so, Loblaw can then decide which marketing messages or promotions, for example, would be most relevant to these individuals.

"Ultimately," he continued, "the data leads to the notion of mass customisation – changing up the unit of advertising or the unit of marketing from a brand in a market to a brand and a customer."

To aid this process, Loblaw unveiled the PC Plus loyalty program in May 2013. This platform supplies personalised offers to shoppers via a mobile app.

With over 6m members signed up to the initiative to date, this tool has greatly assisted the company's mission to move towards one-to-one marketing.

Data sourced from Warc