Three Ways to Use Big Data to Understand Your Customers

big data 3 2015

How effective marketers use customer intelligence data to build relationships

Marketers have more connected data to work with these days– but many of us struggle to find a place to put it to use. The Internet of Things has delivered unprecedented visibility and connectivity between:

  • Sales data (what leads yield results and why?)
  • Customer data (who is your customer and where do they go to learn about your products?)
  • Product data (what customers need from your product and where are your next innovations?).

As your company’s social media marketer, sales lead choreographer or product marketer (yes, many of us wear several hats) what should you do to gain the most customer intelligence from this data?

I have gone in fits and starts using data to drive my customer intelligence quotient. I want you to know this list is a product of some good choices but also a few false steps! But after doing some serious research; contracting with the best in the business to install programs to manage the data; and learning what not to do from peers and colleagues—I think these three areas are a good place to start:

Lead with Your Heart

Use improved sales data to figure out how to manage your leads better. Then you can comb the data to see how you’re doing in retention and with suspects and prospects – and craft your marketing messages accordingly.

In my case, I was able to drill down to who was downloading our product resources—and also what search terms they used to get to those pages. After following that path, I was able to see who was looking for terms that described our product mission—rather than our product features or benefits.

Synchrono champions demand-driven, Pull-based manufacturing philosophies because we believe using these will help manufacturers succeed. We had been crafting many of our messages around that “brand purpose” – which defines for your customer why you are doing what you’re doing before they know what you are selling. The “heart” of your mission, if you will.

According to Jim Stengel, former CMO of P&G, companies that transmit their brand purpose effectively are three times more profitable than those that don’t. I found that our potential and current customers were on board with our brand purpose—they needed to know how to start to apply these principles to their own environments. Once I knew we were hitting the mark with our brand purpose, all of our marketing resources and tactics became aligned behind it.

Reach Out

Customer reach is farther and more diverse than ever, thanks to the proliferation of social media B2B programs that can hit your decision makers where they live. The good news is that by targeting your customers’ preferences and activities via online data (in many cases, from your social media channels) and response rates (from targeted customer emails) you can expand your reach to the highest potential groups.

You need to figure out a way to do this using social media. In fact, research by Forrester suggests that businesses that spend only 6 hours a week using social media experience a 74% increase in website traffic.  Getting your customers to experience your purpose through your website—and keeping them there with great content, allows you to create an engaging conversation. This conversation often turns into a great sustainable relationship.

Get Social

info_topThis infographic shows that 85% of the decision-makers polled said that at least one social media channel was very important to them in making technology purchase decisions. That’s why I urge you to include your most valuable social media channel in your outreach. The good news is that by managing your customer intelligence appropriately with back-office, big data-capturing processes, you can identify what channel will bring you closer to the people who will sign the checks. Nurturing this intelligence, trying new things, such as repurposing white papers, blogs and infographics across different channels, will give you all of the feedback you need to refine your strategy.

These are just three places to start to mine your data and come up with solid, actionable customer intelligence. Let me know if you’d like to add to this conversation…I’d be pleased to hear your great marketing ideas and how you communicate your purpose to spark new opportunities.

– Marketing

6.0-Pam Three Bottlenecks the Modern Marketer Must Overcome                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Big data, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, Factory of the Future, the Visual factory – what do you really need to pay attention to and what do these concepts mean to most manufacturers? A sceptic and trend-spotter, Pam’s posts leverage a background in technology marketing to apply these big concepts to the real world – and real work – of demand-driven manufacturers.