According to a recent article in CMO.com, “Consumers no longer just buy based on product or price point. They are in the market to buy experiences.”

As evidence of this interest, by 2030 spending on the experience economy is projected to be $8 trillion—far surpassing the projected spend on global entertainment, sports, and media, and global sports betting and lotteries in a similar time period.

Numerous retailers are already benefitting from this trend. For example, Walmart’s Toy Lab enables shoppers to interact with top-selling toys via their computer or tablet; shoppers at Nike’s flagship store in Manhattan can engage in a variety of in-store experiences and ultimately find and pay for shoes via their smartphone; and numerous brands are launching pop-up stores to fuel exciting retail experiences.

Retailers aren’t the only ones capitalizing on consumers’ desire for experience. Airbnb recently launched Airbnb Adventures with the aim of “introducing guests to natural wonders, cultures, and communities that are hard to reach on their own.”

Regardless of industry, target market, or objective, there is one common theme that unites all those betting on the experience economy: the need for a comprehensive business intelligence platform that provides the foundation for the personalization needed to fuel great experiences.

Following are a few considerations that demonstrate why data is king in the experience economy:

  • Eliminating Data Silos: An eConsultancy study found that 57 percent of consumers are willing to share personal information with brands (assuming that this sharing benefits them and that the data is used responsibly). To truly capitalize on this business intelligence, it’s critical that companies ensure that data is shared between departments, business units, and other entities. After all, what good is rich, contextual information about buying behavior if it never leaves the marketing team?
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Powered Insights: Leading analyst firms are predicting that smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will help companies increase sales and profits with greater levels of personalization. In order to realize this and other benefits of AI and ML, companies first need the ability to efficiently collect, process, and operationalize large volumes of data.
  • Invite Customers into the Process: Allowing customers to manage personalization recommendations a la Amazon and other retailers, for example, fosters a sense of two-way communication with the brand and also helps ensure that future offers are more highly targeted.

For more on the experience economy and the opportunities it brings, take a look at this Fast Company infographic.