If you are a marketer, you know customer analytics are important.
According to the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020, “marketing leaders highlight a number of critical priorities in their budgets. The following capabilities rose to the top: Market research and competitive insights (named as top-three priority by 32% of respondents); marketing analytics (32%); digital commerce (31%); and marketing operations (30%).”
A study from DataIQ found that 72% see data analytics as being ‘very important' or 'extremely important' in their current roles. But when push comes to shove, many marketing organizations struggle to evolve their analytics capabilities.
One reason for this may be that many marketers are starting to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of customer data in their possession. Every credit card transaction that customers make, every email they respond to, every Facebook ad they click on contributes to an increasingly large and varied data set. Salesforce research found that the average number of customer data sources has increased in the last three years, with no sign of slowing.
Customer data is the key to better marketing
Data analysis is rarely the reason that marketers get into the field. Data crunching is often a skill that comes with IT and technical-related jobs and is not a common background for most marketers. And due to this lack of skills and experience, many are uncomfortable accessing and using data. In fact, the same aforementioned DataIQ study also found that 38% of marketers have had no business data analytics training in the last 12 months, and that only 22% have had any training in analyzing customer data or insight in the first place.
There is a way to deal with this…more on that later. First, it’s important to understand how and why customer data is so critical.
Successful marketers utilize customer data to help better understand their customers' shopping habits and preferences, which they then use to execute more effective marketing campaigns and make better decisions about customer acquisition and customer retention. In addition, customer data is important in the following ways:
- Building brand loyalty. Analyzing customer data will help you uncover insights into the driving forces behind your customers’ shopping habits and responses to marketing tactics, and allow you to use that knowledge to better engage them with personalized outreach. Personalized outreach helps to create positive sentiment, which in turn creates happy, loyal customers.
- Implementing more effective cross-channel marketing. Today's customers have more choices in where they shop than ever. This is why it is very important that marketers connect with their customers on the channels they prefer, and have a good understanding of how customers use these channels. By analyzing data on behaviors such as email response, visits to the website, or usage of promotional materials, marketers gain direct knowledge of which content appeals most to their customers – and their preferred channel for receiving it.
- Creating more personalized experiences. Research by Accenture found that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize them, remember them, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. This means that your outreach needs to include personalized messaging to be impactful. Without information on past customer-brand interactions, truly personalized messages and offers just aren't possible. A personalized approach helps keep customers engaged with your brand and coming back for more. And the more they interact, the more your brand learns about their interests, and so this virtuous cycle continues.
Use a CDP to get more comfortable with customer analytics
In an age where customer analytics have completely changed how marketers do their jobs, many still struggle to turn their customer data into actionable intel. Having parsable records of all cross-channel customer engagements and transactions is critical when building successful marketing campaigns. This is where a customer data platform (CDP) really shines.
More than likely you and your organization are utilizing multiple systems to store and analyze your customer data, such as platforms for campaign management, customer relationship management, email marketing, marketing automation, and more. This means your customer data is likely spread across many systems, preventing you from gaining a unified view of your customers.
What makes CDPs so valuable is their ability to integrate with the previously-mentioned systems (as well as others), pull your customer data from each, and unify that data so that you have a single customer record/profile for each of your customers. With all your customer data in one place and your customer profiles unified and trustworthy, you can then gain a better understanding of your customer base thanks to more accurate customer segmentation and analysis. And with a quickly-learned and easy-to-use interface, CDPs allow you to easily perform this segmentation and analysis without having to involve your organization's IT or data science teams.
So if you're a marketer struggling to get a handle on your customer data or would like more information on how a customer data platform can help support your marketing needs, reach out to us today. We'd love to hear from you.
 Gartner “4 Key Findings in the Annual Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020,” 3 October 2019. https://www.gartner.com/en/marketing/insights/articles/4-key-findings-in-the-annual-gartner-cmo-spend-survey-2019-2020