“We’ve only just begun. There’s only going to be more data.”
– Bradley Horowitz, VP, Product Management, Google
“Big Data” may be the big thing. But you live in the real world.
You’re frustrated when you try to deal with multiple data sources… it all seems really complex and expensive. Plus, you’re already swamped with what’s on your plate now.
So, how do you simplify and act on all the customer data that’s available?
And, is it worth the effort to even try?
Many people use the terms Customer Analytics or “Customer Intelligence” (CI) for collecting, connecting and analyzing many different types of data. And fortunately, with the right approach, Customer Intelligence doesn’t have to break your budget anymore.
CI is worth effort because it will allow you to answer these 3 key questions…
1. How do I get a true picture of what is happening?
Like… “How are Organic and Paid Search interacting with each other? And how can I reduce my Paid budget without sacrificing performance?”
2. How do I find out why things are happening?
Like… “Why is my new Display campaign suddenly not performing?”
3. How do I know what will happen?
Like… “How do I know that a specific visitor is ready to buy a particular product?”
Let’s dig a bit deeper…
1. Get a true picture of what is happening
First, Customer Intelligence lets you look at your marketing channels together.
Most people analyze marketing channels in silos – Website activity, Marketing Automation, CRM systems, etc. Instead, you can tie these campaigns together and analyze their combined impact on a prospect or customer. You can understand things like cross channel correlation, latency analysis and apply accurate attribution.
Second, CI gives you a complete picture of your sales funnel.
Web traffic data is great for evaluating reach and establishing initial engagement metrics, but you can do more. This is especially important for a multi-stage buying process. Web traffic turns into leads, the nurturing of those leads results in qualified leads. Qualified leads turn into opportunities and opportunities turn into sales and new customers.
By tying together web data, marketing automation data, CRM data and sales data, CI allows you to close the loop and get accurate ROI for channels, campaigns and even specific keywords or media placements. This helps you focus your efforts and your budget on what’s working best.
2. Understand why things are happening
Once you know what’s really happening, you’ll immediately want to know why things are happening. Customer Intelligence allows you to dynamically segment your data and dig down to find answers. In other words, you can uncover the root causes without relying on pre-determined aggregated segments.
For example, let’s say you notice that a Paid Search campaign is trending up. Traditional analytics tools just look in the rear-view mirror. But with CI, you can dig into that data by dynamically segmenting by geographical location, by product type, by web visit behavior patterns and other investigative segments. Each answer produces another question. You eventually determine that the specific campaign resonated with a particular target audience at a particular time.
Then you can use that insight to build on what’s working and refine or ramp down what’s not working. You’ll act in real time to improve performance.
3. Know what will happen
Of course we all want to “deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.” But how?
Customer Intelligence makes this a little easier. You can take all online and offline actions at an individual or company level and simplify it. Specifically, this means turning all that atomic level data into one number for an individual or company based on their activity – a validated engagement score. They’re called “validated” because the scores are correlated with actual results rather than educated guesses.
These validated scores accurately tell you where customers are in the sales funnel and predict what, when and how much they’re going to buy. You can then use this information to create priority prospect customer lists, by individual or by company. These lists can be managed by CRM systems, site personalization engines and sales teams.
In other words, CI empowers your site, your nurturing efforts and your sales force to sell to the right prospects at the right time. [See the Cisco case study webcast on this topic]
Customer Intelligence can tame the Big Data beast by collecting and connecting vast amounts of data from multiple sources and turning it into usable insights that can make a meaningful difference to your customers and your business. You’ll finally know what’s happening, why things are happening and what will happen.
Customer Intelligence will ultimately tell the full story of your customers. And this story will focus your Marketing efforts (and make you a hero).