By Sanjay Khatnani, Managing Partner, J2 Solutions
Last month, we launched the first in a series of articles around how to use data to drive business success. Today, we will delve into one of the most powerful applications of big data: learning about your customers to generate more business.
In today’s customer-driven market, customers expect more from you than ever before. They want to be spoken to, not at. They want you to know who they are, and they want you to interact with them accordingly. They have neither the time nor the desire for a barrage of messages and offers that don’t apply to them. Blanketed marketing tactics of the past no longer work. Today it’s all about personalization and precise targeting, thanks to our friend, Big Data,
The fact is you have the data—and it’s packed with a wide array of insights about your customers, from demographics, geographic location and behavior to personal preferences, how they interact with your brand in real-time and more. Your data is the catalyst for improved targeting, retention and revenue. You just need to harness it.
Find new customers:
To find new customers, you need to know your current customers. Who are they? Where did they come from? Where are they located? What are their titles? What is their purchasing power? And the list goes on.
By pulling and analyzing the right mix of data elements to identify characteristics of current customers, you’ll be able to pinpoint your “ideal” customer to go after. With an accurate sense of your customer demographics, behaviors and preferences, you can stop wasting money on marketing tactics that don’t work and redirect your efforts to more personalized, targeted marketing campaigns and sales strategies that resonate with the right audiences, at the right time in the right way.
Keep your existing customers happy:
According to Gartner, a 5% increase in retention can boost profits by 25% – 125%.1 The fact is, while bringing in new customers will likely always be a top priority for you, retaining existing customers is equally important—and (let’s face it) a lot cheaper. But in order to do that, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of their evolving needs. To really understand your customers at an intrinsic level, you need to peel back the onion to reveal hidden pain points. Explore, slice and dice and learn.
For example, you can segment your customers by behavioral patterns to identify meaningful clusters. Identify key factors that set each apart from the other and use that information to personalize offers and deliver content that’s most relevant to them. A more focused, targeted approach to customer communication shows them you know who they are and care about their unique needs—not merely the broader needs of your customer base at large.
What’s more, when you really know your customers, you can fine-tune customer support, problem-solve more efficiently and more precisely help them achieve their goals. With a more personalized approach to interacting with your customers across every touchpoint, you’ll be able to consistently deliver a positive customer experience and drive loyalty.
Bring existing customers deeper into your pipeline:
Your current customers are the low-hanging fruit of new revenue streams. Your data gives you a tremendous opportunity to identify and solve additional pain points or challenges for your existing customers. This could be in the form of a cross-sell or upsell of existing solutions, or you might discover an opportunity to create new solutions to fill a broader gap in the market.
For example, my first foray into the Apple suite of solutions began with the iPod. Today I’m a proud iPhone, iPad and MacBook user. And though I have yet to don the wearable on my wrist, I’d be lying if I said the Apple Watch wasn’t in my future. Apple has mastered the art (or rather, the science) of learning their customers’ wants, desires and behaviors and creating new solutions to meet needs we consumers didn’t even know we had, and further embed those needs across interdependent brand offerings. AirPods? Who knew?
Big data is big, and it’s getting bigger. While the sheer volume may seem overwhelming, when you harness it intelligently, you will uncover deep, actionable insights. There’s no better time than now to start pulling profitable value from your data. The more you know about your customers, the more opportunities you’ll uncover to drive additional revenue. There truly is no downside.