Customer data

You don’t know your Customer……because you haven’t asked

It is likely that your business already has a lot of data; about your customers, prospects and processes. In 2017, data is everywhere. We have so much of it that sometimes we don’t know what to do with it. The problem is that most of the data we collect just isn’t very good (or we don’t know if it’s any good), or we just aren’t sure how to use it effectively. Most customer data that we collect can’t be analyzed, not because we don’t want to, but because it is trapped in a silo or is otherwise inaccessible.

So, what should you know about your customer?

  • Location data
  • Demographic data
  • Interests
  • Pain points
  • Conversion rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Purchase history
  • Content analytics
  • Customer wealth
  • Path-to-conversion
  • Customer revenue
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Churn rate
  • and more

These metrics are a given. Everyone should have them (but, many do not). There are dozens (if not hundreds) of metrics you could follow to help better understand your customer. Knowing your customers and having a good grasp of data related to your customers will inevitably help you to attract new customers. Therefore, it is important to pick which data points are the most important for your business, customers and prospects.

The data above can come from many different sources and systems. Some of them are easy to access, track and analyze. Others, such as customer loyalty, are not so easy. How do you know what your customer is doing if you aren’t looking at their purchase history, browsing habits and what information they are consuming? How do you know if they are loyal to you if you aren’t aware of their social activity? If they visit your website or if people from their networks are entering your sales channel, you won’t know it. These are all important facets of customer loyalty that you should keep track of. But, many businesses either don’t have this data, or can’t track it easily.

Bottom line: your customers are your biggest assets and it’s imperative to know if they are happy.  After all, it costs 5 times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.

Are Your Customers Happy?

Just because a customer has given you money, does not mean they are loyal. Just because a customer hasn’t churned does not mean that they are completely satisfied, or trust you. They very well be searching for a better option. It is very likely that if a customer is unhappy, they’re just going to leave without any signals. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain; the rest will just leave your business and never come back. Without proper data, you won’t know what motivated that particular customer to leave. If you don’t know why they left, how can you improve your processes so it doesn’t happen again?

Collect The Data

It would be so much easier, if all the data you needed to make decisions could be curated into one system. That way, the analytics you need are right at your fingertips in a single screen. Wouldn’t it be easier if your platform collected everything from content analytics to customer profiles?  

A content management system (CMS) is a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content. Many businesses use these systems to collect data (related to content) from various sources and organize it in a single, centralized source. If you have a content management system (CMS), then you don’t need to collect and verify the accuracy of the data, only to be forced to re-enter that data in another system manually. You can see all the information in one place, and know that it is accurate. 

Ask Questions

There are a million questions that you can easily get the answer to (or at least a rough idea of), simply by asking. You can get any information about the reader, simply by enticing them to provide you with that information. You can offer them exclusive content, a chance to win a prize, or some other incentive if they fill out a form on your website.  

The more you know about your customers, the better you can target your message to their wants, needs, interests and challenges. To get the data you need, you must ask. The business case for having all this data is quite obvious: the more you know about your customer, about their pain points, their desires, and interests, the more effective your marketing plan will be. People respond to messaging that hits them on a personal level. If you know who that customer is (on a personal level), you can craft specific messages that will speak to them. Personalized marketing is and has always been effective.  It works because everyone looks for that personal attention. 

Thanks to technology, such as a Content Management System (CMS), personalization and data is more accessible than ever.  CMSs come in all shapes and sizes, can be as simple as a single WordPress page (with the appropriate plugins), or as complex as the application requires (and that a developer can manage).

Content Management System

Investing in a CMS will help ensure you have the data available in order to determine your customers’ buyer journey, how your customers are feeling, what their pain points are and how people are finding you.

If you don’t have a CMS in place, it’s not too late. While you may be behind the pack, you aren’t out of the race. Data science has advanced leaps and bounds over the last few years. Tools have been developed to better sort through data and there are baseline metrics for every industry. By using a CMS to collect data from your customers, you will be able to begin to make up for lost time. 

Once you have the relevant data you can really get started, using data to shape your thinking and drive results. You can use that data for any purpose you wish, shaping and tweaking campaigns to better fit your customer and prospects.

Not Alone

Even marketers at larger companies struggle with analyzing data. Over 60% of CMOs admit that they aren’t utilizing available data to its full potential. Only 0.5% of total data collected is being analyzed at all. You’re not alone. Everyone needs to work on using technology to its full potential, especially when it comes to using the data that is right in front of you.

How to Use Data

An example of a larger company struggling to collect, analyze, and fully utilize their data is Bridgepoint Health, before they implemented a Liferay solution. Their solution involved the creation of an internal data portal. The hospital needed a way to integrate disparate systems containing their own data. The seamless integration of key data sources and applications and the simplified, secured, and rapid access to that data, were key to engineering the right solution.

While their solution is a little different from yours, the core principal is the same. You just need a system that will both allow you to collect data AND analyze it in one easy to access, centralized place. Creating a solution to collect and analyze data is at the heart of Liferay’s value proposition. 

Bridgepoints solution led to improved productivity and optimized workflows through efficient access to data. Time spent switching between systems (a hallmark of homegrown CMS solutions) was drastically reduced, while productivity rose.

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Sometimes you just need to figure out a content and data management strategy. If this describes you then please contact us, reach out to us on Twitter @VeridayHQ or check out our blog posts about…

Benefits of Digital Experience Platforms , Digital Transformation and, Omni-Channel Marketing.

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