Three Ways to Use Customer Data to Drive Marketing Relevance

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Using customer data to deliver the right message to the right customer, at the right time, through the right channel is not the future of marketing, it’s today’s reality. Businesses that do this effectively generate millions of dollars in additional revenue, recognize strong organic growth, build customer loyalty, and increase shareholder value. So what’s their secret? The answer is: Relevance. Successful marketers are using next-generation analytics, and adaptive engagement strategies to communicate with customers on their terms, across a variety of channels. Here are three ways to use customer data strategies to generate more relevant marketing.

1. Turn Mountains of Big Data into Smart Marketing

Effective marketing programs are built on facts, and customer data is king. Today, we have access to more customer data than ever, and putting big data to good use is the new competitive advantage in multichannel marketing. The strongest marketing organizations are mature in their customer data management, and they collect more than just standard information. In fact, Gartner reports that modern marketers “need to enhance their customer databases with information that is much deeper than the demographic and history profile data typically gleaned from social networks. Marketers also need to track psychographic behavior (attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles) to prepare for the next wave of innovation in campaign management.”1 

What is your strategy to collect, analyze, and integrate customer data? Here are some tips to understand your data management maturity.
  • Big Data Mountain: Base Camp. If your strategy exists independently across many departments and you have information stored in different silos, then you’re in the beginning stages. Take advantage of the customer data you have today while you build out a more comprehensive data collection plan. Focus on creating new ways to bridge information silos. Don’t be afraid to create a cross-channel data management team whose members share roles and work together to analyze customer information.
  • Big Data Mountain: The Ascender. If you have an enterprise-wide strategy, then you’re emerging and ascending. But, don’t fall into the data quagmire. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with data. Keep sight of the summit and start small. Examine buying behaviors, understand channel preferences, and recognize how customers want to purchase. Then, market toward those buying indicators. Pick a customer segment or a specific customer journey that matters to the company, and start with targeted offerings based on customer intelligence.
  • Big Data Mountain: The Summit. If you’re actually collecting customer history and behavioral data and using it to deliver a personalized experience, and then taking the next best action within the customer life cycle, you’re leading the pack to the top. Don’t forget that tools and technology partners can help you consolidate data into a single platform, automate analysis and touch plan execution, and put governance structures into place so the data can be securely shared and safely used across the organization.

2. Deploy Next-Generation Analytics (Segmentation Isn’t Enough)

Adaptive marketing programs are in tune with customers because they use next-generation analytics to extract valuable insights from mountains of data. They gain ground by leveraging intelligence to segment customers and evaluate their engagement patterns as well as their total customer lifetime value. Marketing masters know that although segmentation has long been a key component of a successful strategy, it shouldn’t be the only analytical engine driving the effort. Customer engagement analytics and predictive models are also critical.

Customer Engagement Analytics
Customers interact with brands through outbound marketing stimuli, inbound channels like websites and mobile applications, and also through interactive channels such as social media, online chat services, retail stores, and contact centers. Analyzing customer engagement across all these channels is important because it helps companies focus marketing on the channels that have the greatest business impact, better measure the customer experience, and quickly detect shifts in engagement patterns, so they can be more responsive.

Predictive Modeling
Additional benefits can be gained through the use of predictive modeling, which forecasts future customer behaviors and propensities by assigning a score to depict each customer’s anticipated actions. In addition to customer segmentation, marketing experts use predictive modeling to estimate customer lifetime value and identify other key profit driving behaviors like product purchase propensities, expected purchase cycles, aggregate spending levels, customer loyalty, and customer support and service usage.

Marketing Tip: What sets data-driven marketers apart is how well they understand the strengths of each analytic toolset and how well their programs maximize the collective benefits. Customer segmentation without predictive modeling is an incomplete analytic toolbox. While segmentation provides a robust foundation for designing, testing, measuring and rolling out tailored marketing programs, it shouldn’t be an exhaustive solution for understanding all expected customer behaviors. Predictive models are necessary companion tools because they expose additional opportunities and help marketers achieve higher levels of targeting precision. Predictive models are also better suited to maintain peak targeting performance.

3. Act on Analytics with Adaptive Engagement Technologies

The one-size-fits-all marketing approach is dead, and influential marketers are using psychographic profiles to develop value propositions that resonate with each customer type. But, how do they efficiently generate marketing materials that are as unique as their customers? They use adaptive engagement technologies to do it all for them—automatically. Gone are the days when markets were considered too fragmented to penetrate cost effectively. Smart marketers use technology-driven marketing solutions to automatically evaluate and create custom-tailored campaigns for each person’s unique needs. These solutions analyze customer data across all communication channels and dynamically generate customized content based on personal profiles and buying behavior. The most intelligent solutions shift strategies based on customer online activity, purchases, and other trigger events.

Marketing Tip: Today, marketing departments spend more time managing separate vendors and spend less time managing outcomes. Marketing leaders are finding a competitive edge by working with a single partner who provides big data analytics and adaptive engagement marketing technologies all in the same platform, so companies can go to market quickly and act on opportunities.

True marketing powerhouses collect multichannel data (including social and mobile), deploy adaptive marketing technologies to extract customer insights, and automatically generate personalized content for each segment. While many companies get bogged down in building their own architecture to execute customer-centric marketing strategies, leaders leapfrog their competition by involving their IT partner and by working with customer experience companies to deploy all-in-one cloud solutions for the data-driven marketing of tomorrow.