Today there is no shortage of customer data readily available at our fingertips.

It can easily be used to better understand our customers and enhance their experience. Unfortunately, 96 percent of businesses have stated that they are not managing data effectively.

If your business falls into this category, then here are four ways you can turn those vital customer insights into actionable marketing tactics once you’ve gathered consumer data:

1. Become a Customer-Centric Company

“A customer-centric company is more than a company that offers good service,” writes Steven MacDonald on SuperOffice. Amazon and Zappos are just two examples “of brands that are customer centric and have spent years creating a culture around the customer and their needs.”

To put your customers first, it would be helpful if your organization was passionate, focused on the wants and needs of your customers, built relationships, and have implemented a customer strategy that retains your loyal customers.

So how do insights play a role?

For starters, pay careful attention to your churn rate. It costs more to attract new customers than retain your current ones. If you notice that customers are leaving, then you need to figure out why. You also want to go over the customer lifetime value (CLV) so you know whether or not it’s worth investing in the customer.

2. Integrate Customer Data Across Channels and Campaigns

As Jay Acunzo states on HubSpot, “Multi-channel marketing is defined by many organizations, unsurprisingly, as communicating with and marketing to prospects and customers across many channels, including online and offline.” Acunzo adds, “Success, however, doesn’t come by just being present on these channels.” Nope — just like the inbound methodology describes marketers need to address their multi-channel marketing in several areas to be successful.

•Have clearly defined buyer personas. A buyer persona is essentially a semi-fictional representation of your “ideal” customer based on real data on your existing customers.

•Create relevant and helpful content that is consumer-first.

•All channels must work together.

•Give consumers multiple channels and devices to receive their content.

•Measure the results for each channel with something like closed-loop analytics. These metrics give you insight on the entire customer lifecycle. This is extremely useful for sales and marketing as it gives you information on what it takes to yield a customer or “close the loop” on your marketing efforts.

Ultimately, this will create a personalized experience for your customers based on information like their location, interests, and preferences like device and social media platform of choice.

3. Use Feedback to Address Changes and Innovation

Customer insights need to be used to change the status quo within your organization.

Brian Honigman, via Sprout Social, uses the example of how ConAgra Foods listened to the response of its customers after it discontinued “easy-to-open pop-top lids from all of its Chef Boyardee canned pastas.”

Customers weren’t happy about the change and shared their feelings on social media. ConAgra heard the message loud and clear and brought back the pop-top lids.

In the end of the day you are building the product that is best fit for your customers. If the product is not a good fit, your market will let you know. It is then entirely up to you whether or not you can pivot to better serve your consumers. This concept of pivoting and constantly iterating your product will spark innovation. Just make sure you keep your customers in mind when you are implementing these changes.

4. Predictive Intelligence

“Finally, take your understanding of your customer and your knowledge of your own business/field to predict what type of actions will come,” says Bruce Swann from Adobe. “Then, you simply need to act in accordance with those predictions [for both new and loyal customers].”

When you start to collect data on your customers it is important to analyze this information very carefully. You can actually use this data to predict future trends or attitudes of the consumers. Many companies build complicated algorithms that are designed  to recognize patterns in data that can help you make sense of all the data. If you use these predictions wisely, it will save you lots of time and money and could potentially save your business.

Big data is a very hot topic these days in tech. It is very important to not only collect the data, but analyze and utilize it properly. Use these methods to get the most out of your data.

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I'm Chalmers and I'm the Co-Founder and CTO of Due.com.

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