Well, how well do you know them? Do you know what made them respond to your ads? Do you know why they chose your product over your competitors’? Will they respond to the same ad next time they need your product?
Some of these questions are relatively easy to answer, but they may not provide the deep insight you are looking for. The kind of insights that are actionable – ones you can use to increase campaign performance or profitability.
It’s not enough just to know what makes your customers “click.” We need to know what makes then “tick.”
Know Your Customer in Real Time
By understanding prospects’ real-time behavior and preferences, we can react quickly – with more productive campaigns. With, as the old saying goes, “the right offer to the right prospect at the right time.”
An important first step is centralizing your customer and prospect data. This is something we’ve championed for years. Our team introduced several industries to “database marketing,” and we’ve built marketing databases for dozens of clients.
Up until a few years ago, simply having a sound database gave companies a huge competitive advantage. Insights came slowly, and all communications were contained in campaigns – which took several weeks to launch.
Now, of course, that’s not enough. With the real-time feedback and inquiries enabled via all of the interactive and social media channels it’s all about management. By more effectively managing the massive streams of two-way communications, and the exponential power of people sharing those communications, we gain immediate insights. And with a little pre-planning, we can template-ize logical reactions (if p, then q) based on the most likely types of inquiries and personas.
Upselling and cross-selling that used to take weeks or months can now happen in seconds. As can responding to critiques, customer complaints, or rumors.
The Right Tools for the Job
It has been said that the marketing database is the “central nervous system” and the customer relationship management (CRM) system serves as the “arms and legs.”
Marketing Automation systems add “super powers” to those arms and legs.
MA systems like Marketo, HubSpot, Eloqua, and Pardot enable us to manage 1,000s of simultaneous prospect and customer communications at any given moment – across multiple channels, segments, campaigns, test cells, platforms and devices.
A vertical industry example of one of these systems is SSB Central Intelligence – which enables university departments, professional sports teams, and other businesses in the entertainment industry to manage customer and prospect info from a variety of sources.
What Is The Key To Customer Intelligence?
It’s like the fable of the Five Blind Men and the Elephant. Customer intelligence means different things to different people. For one marketer it may be increasing the efficiency of their media spend. For another, it’s streamlining their leadflow or sales pipeline. For others, it’s all about consistency.
At the recent IBM SmarterCommerce Summit in Tampa, Florida, guest speaker Bill May, Global Vice President of Abercrombie, described it one way: “The key to maintaining customer value is provide a consistent experience and product, no matter the location.”
He also stated that 30% of all digital traffic for Abercrombie was mobile, which has doubled in little over a year. Also that 90% of millennials sleep by their phone. And customer expectations change every 18 months. Armed with this knowledge Ambercrombie is better able to serve its youth-dominated customer base with timely and relevant products – consistently across their 1,000+ stores.
And you don’t need a full-time research or analytics department to cash-in on the benefits of enhanced customer information. Even mom and pop shops can use Big Data to gain insights they can use.
How well do you know your customers? What type of intelligence do you wish you had more of? How will you leverage it once you acquire it? And what’s the best way to measure its effect?