There is no excuse for a “spray and pray” approach to marketing any more. We are becoming increasingly frustrated with a one fits all approach especially when our digital footprint provides insight on our preferences. Companies that fail to use insight and analytics to tailor information and offers accordingly will be left behind.
Amazon have been catering to our needs, purchase history and preferences for ages. Using NBO’s (next best offers) in suggesting what would be of interest to us in up/cross selling offers and in the process are creating more compelling, precise and effective marketing. Yes it is still a learning process but their experimentation means they are leaders in creating offers that are personalised and relevant to our experience online. Part of this is due to the research they conduct and tools to create personas.
Because so many companies treat customers in a generic way, those who take the time to segment their market, look at how they want to be communicated to and make relevant and timely offers have the upper hand. Not only do they have a competitive advantage but they are more profitable.(www.hbr.org). Businesses in general lack the personal touch of the past, building long term customer relationships by knowing customers well. Today we need to achieve the same level of customer intimacy but leverage technology and data to do this.
According to Gartner, the business intelligence market (including data warehouses and CRM analytics) is growing nine percent per year. While it was worth $57 billion at the end of 2010, it will surge to $81 billion by 2014 and as high as $136 billion by 2020.
“Another area that is changing the business intelligence market is demographics. Millennials (ages 20 to 30) now comprise 20 percent of the workforce, but their ranks will swell to 40 percent by 2020.The graduating high school class of 2011 spent all of their school years with pervasive access to the Internet – they don’t know a world without information at their fingertips,” said Sallam. “You tell them to go to the library to use the card catalog, and they look at you if you told them to go use an abacus to calculate the square root of 1,058.”Enterprise Today
Collecting data on our customers does give us insight to make better marketing decisions but we need to keep a balance between what is considered helpful and useful and what is an invasion of privacy. A controversial example of the insights that can be achieved through predictive analytics is from US retailer Target. The company successfully predicted one of its customers was pregnant before her father knew when using predictive analytics to apply a pregnancy prediction score to new parents-to-be. Video on this example.
So there is a line about how much information to collect or predict however as a small business it is worthwhile starting to collect information on a database. It is also worthwhile subscribing to articles and listening to industry experts on your customer segment. Dig deeper and see what you can find out about them.
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