How to get a 360 degree view of your customers
By using data to gain a holistic view of your customers, your business can secure a crucial advantage over competitors and find that market edge they can’t. But you need to do it now. Right. Now.
Brands collect information and insights about their customers from many sources. From real-time data to survey responses, from Net Promoter Scores to digital and social interaction, an abundance of information keeps on flowing right in. When digital data collection became ‘a thing,’ individual departments began collecting and holding their own information. Sales held sales records, events held events records, business development held business development records … and so on and so forth.
Marketing was, in some quarters, viewed as the ‘coloring-in department,’ doing the nice, fun stuff that might make a difference. But might not. In many cases, brands – and subsequently marketers – are still suffering from this fragmentation and the legacy issues created. Marketing teams have to be accountable for driving measurable customer interaction and ultimately bottom-line results. And data is key to being able to achieve it.
Why are we asking that? Who cares? It might be useful!
Early days saw the ‘collect everything!’ mentality guide many brands’ approach to data. ‘We don’t know why we want to know this, or what we might need it for, but heck, let’s get it, just in case!’ It’s a practice that’s still causing many marketers many problems today. Customer frustration is at the pointy end of this and if it isn’t sorted out, it can spell bad news for your business’ integrity and respectability in the marketplace. Your customer experience needs to be top notch. If customers and potential customers are having to repeatedly give the same information to different departments in your business then CX is not at the forefront of your data collection strategy.
Because the customer expectation is that you know them as well as you know your partner or best friend. The brand/customer dynamic has changed forever – no longer does the brand hold the power. Understanding what your customers have to say is far more powerful than simply counting numbers. Customers want relevancy. They want products and services that matter to them. If they’ve just bought a tent from you today, they will think you are a fool if you advertise a tent to them tomorrow. If they’ve given some part of your business a piece of information, they expect that information to have been taken by the business, not by a department.
Knowing what you want, why you want it and keeping it together
In the post-GDPR and Californian Data Usage Laws environment, transparency about what you’re collecting and why you’re collecting it is vital. In addition, the fallout from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal has shone a spotlight on companies’ values based approaches to data collection. So forget about collecting everything and approach your data collection with a very clear understanding of what you want, and why you want it.
Customers expect brands only to collect what they need to deliver a more customized experience. All of this information needs to be viewed within the context of the other data you hold. Data from multiple sources viewed together provides a much broader and much more relevant picture of your customer. From there, opportunities to add value to the customer experience and new business opportunities emerge.
Don’t be afraid to hit delete Of course you can have too much data.
Many problems that arise from data usage today are a consequence of using outdated information, which compromises the integrity of everything you’re doing. So whatever data you centralize, ensure it’s up-to-date and relevant. Outdated data can cause serious problems, so don’t be afraid to delete some data, if it is no longer relevant to delivering a better customer experience.
Bringing it all together
Ultimately if you’re analyzing your data from various sources separately, rather than analyzing all of your data together in a single spot, you’re operating with only a fraction of the information you know about your customers and are missing out on hugely valuable insights. Your marketing will not be as effective, you’ll undoubtedly waste money and you risk alienating the customers you’ve spent so long acquiring and nurturing.
But the good news is that data is your friend. You can use it to your competitive advantage by consolidating your data analysis in one place and gaining vital insights into your customers and how they engage with your brand.
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