October 17, 2017

5 Steps to Getting in the Weeds of Your Customer Data

You never know, you might just find your Holy Grail. New ways of understanding the customer are emerging, and companies should embrace a data-first strategy. The amount of available data grows with every click, tap or touch, through every swipe, search, or share. In industries from e-commerce to media to B2B software, companies first need to wrangle the entire data set before they can try to make sense of it all, in order to report on their conclusions. But just to wrangle the data can take weeks, for even a sophisticated data science/analyst team. And by the time the results are reported and a plan put in place to execute on next steps, the data that was derived a few weeks ago has ceased to be relevant - new conclusions now have to be derived from the newest set of observations.  All while data volume is growing in leaps and bounds from increases in social media interaction, website visits, call center interactions, supply chain transactions … etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

So how does a company optimize spend while keeping up with the ever-growing influx of more data? Here are  5 steps to getting started.  As with any list they’re simple to outline,  but take initiative  to do!:

  1. Collect all the data, and keep it, forever
  2. Combine, blend and process the data
  3. Apply machine learning, statistical models, and proven  mathematical algorithms
  4. Display the results with intuitive visualizations
  5. Act on the results

Having visibility on what’s being collected is a major accomplishment in itself, but to actually optimize for the highest possible  ROI is the holy grail, especially as marketing spend grows to 10% or more of company revenue.

The benefits of  finding the holy grail are as powerful as they are common sense:

  • Provide the right kind of products and services to the right  set of customers at the right moment in time, instead of taking a spray and pray approach
  • Focus on customers’ interests and expectations to ensure high customer satisfaction, instead of assessing them on which products or services will be a perfect match
  • Engage with customers in the medium they prefer, at the time convenient for them, rather than targeting them at the time and in the medium of your choosing

This marketing data landscape is evolving at a  speed that needs to be matched by cost. In order to survive and thrive, companies need to look beyond forecasting data and historical reports. Now is the time to engage with real-time data to get a pulse of what’s happening right now, so you can optimize spend, increase ROI, and win on competitive advantage.