Let’s face it — today, you need an intimate understanding of what makes your customer tick. The better you understand them, the more efficient and relevant your retention program becomes. It is more expensive and time-consuming to acquire new customers, so the way in which you communicate and maximize value from your existing customer base should be on point. Luckily, there is a tremendous cache of data available to you that enables marketers to gain a deeper understanding of their customers, thus driving continued engagement and repeat purchases.
If your data lacks business information like SIC code, employee size and sales volume, you are missing the boat. Actually, you already missed it and are in relentless pursuit of a sinking dinghy. If you understand the size of an enterprise and its industry, for example, you can key in on important timing like industry events and known buying cycles to ensure your marketing communications is timely and relevant. If you know your customer is in the federal government space, then you also know that their fiscal year ends on September 30, 2018. Your marcom efforts should commence in July and August to capitalize on any surplus year-end budget that needs to be spent.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know what types of content are being consumed more robustly by your existing customers? Those days are here with the increase in availability of intent data. By understanding what types of content your customers are consuming more readily, you can tailor your content creation strategy to what those customers are looking for while in the market for your product or service. Driving engagement is paramount to restarting your customer’s buying journey, so serve them content you know will resonate. For example, if you sell data security products and your customer is attending webinars, signing up for newsletters and reading articles related to data security, it’s time to reach out. This is a signal that a.) your customer needs to buy more product from you, and/or b.) your customer is researching your competitors’ products. Either way, this is a trigger for outbound communication.
Understanding buying patterns and how your customers respond to different types of communications can serve as important clues to their buying behavior and contribute to predictive models. Does your customer buy at the end of the quarter? Does your customer buy within 10 days of receiving a brochure in the mail or an email? Perhaps the purchase takes more consideration; your customer needs to consume six pieces of content and have two calls with a sales rep before making a deal. Using analytics to assess the contribution by channel or content in your customer communications will provide clues to relevant mediums, readily consumed content, purchasing patterns and other sales triggers.
Bringing all of this together requires reliable data sources, solid analysts and a dynamic marketing team. Every part of a company must work toward this view of the holistic customer experience and optimize it to drive revenue, profitability and sustained growth. Harnessing data assets drives a deeper understanding of the distinct characteristics of your customer, enabling a more customized marketing approach, better buyer journeys and ultimately increased sales.
Senior Vice President
Data, Digital and OmniChannel Solutions