18 January 2016 | Cynan Clucas
The Big Data Conundrum
In recent research, 30% of 4,000 executives surveyed said the biggest challenge inhibiting their use of analytics is that they don’t understand how to use the data. If that’s true, then what does that mean for ‘big data’?
While businesses struggle to come to terms with big data, customers are generating over 30 billion pieces of content a day on Facebook; sending over 400 million tweets per day on Twitter; and watching over 400 billion hours of video per month on YouTube.
Most businesses are failing to tap into these richer, more insightful data sources, relying instead on rudimentary pieces of data like transaction history to form the foundation of their ‘CRM strategy’, frequently irritating customers with generic mass-audience promotions.
But with improved analysis and planning, businesses can develop compelling communications, products, services, and experiences which offer true personalisation; build lasting loyalty and result in increased profits.
So, What's CRM Really Then?
When you ask most companies about their CRM program, they’ll describe something that follows a pattern like this:
"For example, I send you an email with an offer for four competitively priced products. I know you opened it. I know you clicked on a link in it. I know where you landed on my website. I know how long you spent there. I know if you followed the call to action or bounced. I know that if you didn’t respond today, I’m going to send you another email in a couple of days."
But none of this really tells the company about you as an individual. It doesn’t tell me if I caught you at a bad time. It doesn’t tell me if you had already visited the landing page from another source. It doesn’t tell me that you just visited a LinkedIn post about why email marketing isn’t CRM. It doesn’t tell me about your level of intent.
That’s because it’s not CRM, it’s email marketing.
Email service providers offer marketers an easy way to take personalised messages to customers, to segment and manage audiences, and to report on performance. But personalisation MUST extend beyond just FIRST NAME, LAST NAME into relevant, contextual and personalised content. That’s what CRM is.
Email marketing is one component of a marketer's’ toolkit, although it is essential because your audience have invited you to send your messages to them.
On its own, email isn’t a strategy. Neither is Facebook. Or Twitter. These are all social media platform technologies which are redundant in isolation of each other, but together, combine to form the unified core of your strategy for customer engagement (CRM).
Considering The Customer Journey
Each individual has their own needs, challenges and aspirations, and each individual follows their own path in deciding whether your product or service can help them with these. Every customer is an individual, yes, but every customer journey is technically the same and has eight steps:
- Independent information gathering
- Features clarifications from sales reps
- Invoice checking
- After-sale service
- Product maintenance and disposal
Each individual will have a very different set of influences and motivations depending on where they are in their customer journey and every step is an opportunity for you to learn more about (and provide more value to) your customer.
The more you learn about each individual customer, the more you can progressively enhance the content, tailor the messaging and improve the experience you deliver to them - in real time - online, mobile, and in store.
Layering Transactional Data With Behavioural Data
A fit-for-purpose CRM strategy should integrate traditional data points like transaction history with behavioural data from sources like social networks and browser history to build an identity for each individual customer which can be used to add context to their position in their unique customer journey.
Your CRM strategy should bring together the data from each customer touchpoint to give you a single view of the customer, and give your customer a real-time, relevant and personalised experience of your brand.
Platforms like Hubspot allow you to do this - making big data affordable, accessible, and actionable and giving you a distinct competitive advantage whilst improving your CRM strategy.
Get In Touch
If you want to know how to find the patterns in your customer data that will allow you to offer and promote the right thing through the right message on the right platform to the right person at the right time just give us a call or drop us an email.