Over coffee this morning, I was reading the article From Data to Dollars in the Spring 2009 issue of 1to1 Magazine and saw a disconnect in thinking that made me scratch my head.On the page was a chart in answer to the question:What Customer Data Would You Like to Collect That You Don't Now?
Psychographic - 11%Demographic - 9%NONE - 9%Competitive information - 6%Customer needs and preferences - 6% Web activity - 5%On the next page is a graph that shows:The Top 5 Uses of Customer Data:Understanding customer value/profitability - 47% Crafting marketing messaging - 47% Creating up/cross-sell offers - 46% Segmentation - 34% Pricing - 20%
Now, maybe I need more caffeine this morning, but it seems to me that if you want to understand customer value/profitability and craft effective marketing messaging, then you need to know customer needs and preferences. How can you even attempt to create up/cross-sell offers if you have no idea of needs?
Additionally, knowing more about website activity can also help you pinpoint interests and levels of engagement to help you increase the relevance and value of your messaging.I'm sorry, but I'm lost with this disconnect about what marketers think they need to accomplish what they want. Especially in this market where the buyer is taking control of their buying process.
Don't get me wrong, psychographic and demographic information is great, but without determining needs and preferences, really, who cares? Just because they could be your customer doesn't mean they have an urgent priority to become your customer.The 9% who don't want to collect any more customer data either have this one handled or can't effectively use the data they already have. I wonder what the split was... **The graphs sourced from 1to1 Media's Spring Data Survey.
Putting my riff above aside, the article offered some valuable tips marketers should consider when crafting a strategy to leverage the data they're collecting. For Sales & Marketing - remember they use data in different ways. "The key is in provisioning data to divisions so that each can look at the same data in their own way."
I'd take that even further and stipulate that it would be helpful for marketing to present data in a way that enables salespeople.Reducing Customer Churn:"With the right data and analysis, most any company can take steps to reduce turnover before it happens." Customer retention is high on the list for most companies in this economy. Go look at the activity history of customers that've defected recently and start connecting the dots. Then apply that insight to take proactive steps to reduce any other customers indicating less than total satisfaction.
Leverage Web analytics:"Right now Web analytics can be highly lucrative. With experimentation companies can make messages more relevant and track which are most effective." Oh, so true. It's all in how you look at the data and scale your view from an aggregate or segment view to that an individual prospect. It's a given that technology enables marketers to collect a lot of data. The trick is in having a plan for how you'll use it. Otherwise, well, it's just data.
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