Dan Brookman, CEO of Airship and Toggle:

There’s this weird opportunity right now (that will hopefully never happen again) where you’ll be starting from almost scratch as far as customer engagement.

I get that you might have pivoted, that you may have been active on Deliveroo or selling at-home kits, but as far as footfall, doors open, honest trading (remember the good old days) is concerned, this is a fresh start.

You have some history that can help, and in this blog I’m going to talk about how best you might put that history to work, to understand who were the best last customers in the previous period prior to lockdown #1 in spring 2020, and how you might use Proof or Presence (or PoP as we call it) to immediately start to increase frequency of visit from the get go.

It’s widely thought that those initial weeks following the 17th May are going to be a bit mental (that’s the technical term). I’m sure that Boris and the local authorities might have something to say on the matter and we shouldn’t forget some of the frankly shitty sticks the sector has been beaten with over the last 12 months.

It will mean customers, and hopefully a lot of them, including people who you haven’t seen before, because, you know, behaviour will have changed. It will also mean pre-booking, and this also delivers data. Hopefully it won’t mean track and trace (although the data was incredible, the actual cost and customer inconvenience was a horrific waste of time). There’s also the likelihood that the UK government might also push for order-and-pay solutions. Most operators have now made this investment, sorted it operationally and consumers are used to it, so it would be good if it stuck around.

Step back in time

2019 was a normal year. You traded for 12 months and have a tonne of data from loads of different sources that gives you a PoP. As a reminder, a PoP could be WiFi, booking, single-use voucher, feedback, loyalty, click-and-collect, kiosk or order-and-pay. It is any data source that identifies that a customer has had a transaction with you.

PoP in Airship automatically segments customers based on engagement. We have Prospect, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Lapsed. Right now, pretty much all of your customers are lapsed, which is why we need to go backwards.

You create rules on PoP that drive people into the segments. So our suggestion is pretty simple: change the rules so that you look back to and draw on data from the start of 2019.

Your segments then become something like:

Your valuable customers will quickly move through the segments as you reopen and those that have been loyal with you through the lockdowns can be identified and rewarded.

Once you have 90 days of normal trading under your belt, switch up the PoP to pull down the recency, as something like this:


If you want to learn more about PoP, check out our Academy: http://support.airship.co.uk/en/?q=PoP