Every marketer uses data in a campaign. Otherwise no one would ever see it. But even with the vast amount of customer, purchasing and supply chain data that is now available, many businesses still only use a tiny bit of it, argues, Jo Sabin, marketing communications manager at crowdsourcing graphic design site, DesignCrowd.com.au.
Today, companies can capture data beyond just the customer value – what has the customer purchased? What’s in their basket? Are they using any promotional codes? How did they reach/find out about our store (online or physical)? How long does the purchasing and transaction process take? How many customers ‘abandon their cart’? What are the peak times of day, month and year?
With so much data now being captured at every sale, businesses of all sizes need to tune into the behaviour of their customers, and more specifically for marketers, into the ways that customers are finding out about their business.
The possibilities of using big-customer-data to optimise marketing and customer engagement right now are endless. Incorporating just a few simple data strategies will help you tailor your marketing to better inform and influence your customers.
Customer experience powerhouses like Amazon and eBay have somewhat mastered the art of data-driven marketing. When you feel like you are ‘seamlessly doing nothing’ on their website, don’t worry, they are tracking your every move. These online giants are not only looking at the behaviour of their customers, but also those who are browsing. Each customer has their data stored, so that during your next visit, the homepage is full of products that you are more interested in. Their secret? They track everything.
Other, small-scale website providers like Bigcommerce and Shopify are now giving their customers intuitive analytical tools to better understand the behaviour of their customers. The reason behind these companies sinking so much money into data, is because even one slight change to the way you do business, can have massive effects and put you ahead of the game.
Most companies track their customers’ purchasing history but there is so much more you can – and should – track. Move beyond what your customers have bought and track their every click, search terms and shares. For online stores, you should also keep track of where your inbound traffic is coming from, so that you can increase your spending here, and bolster your spending on some of the smaller channels. Capture these behaviours and you will begin creating a pretty concise picture of each individual customer. This data will help you create a better and more profitable customer experience.
Take on technology
Gaining more in-depth insight of your customers is clearly invaluable but it’s not easy. To make sure you are capturing all the data you need, whilst maintaining your customer satisfaction, you need to communicate and interact with your customers every day, through a variety of channels, to ensure your brand stays reputable.
How do you keep on top of it all? Consider implementing a CRM and an automated email marketing system if you haven’t already. Double points if you integrate them with your social media sites. Why? These systems don’t only capture, store, track and analyse your data but help you execute clever, multi-channel campaigns and deliver real leads to sales. A/B testing, dynamic content, personalisation and event management are just a few of the features you can take advantage of.
As mentioned previously, most website hosting partners will provide customers with built in analytics tools, with tutorials of how to get the most out of them. If your provider doesn’t offer these, or you want to customise your data even further, consider using Google Analytics. GA offers a bunch of tools that you can integrate into your marketing campaigns, like tracking discount codes and monitoring customer referrals.
Once you’ve got all the tools together for collecting customer data, take the time to analyse it, and see if you can find any customer trends or anomalies – if you are struggling, take a look at the Google Analytics Academy. Look at your page bounce rate, average time spent on your site, the average value of transactions per visitor as well as the ways that customers are directed to/find your website.
Adopt a data-driven mindset so you can track and measure if your business is growing. Being data-driven means you get into the habit of running tests in-store or online and measure results. This could have a big impact on your sales by improving the design of your email or the buttons and calls to actions you use on your website. When Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer was at Google she was famous for testing every design element, including 40 shades of blue to see what shade made users click the most. This decision generated the company an additional $200M in revenue.
In 2013 at Yahoo Mayer tested a new Yahoo logo everyday for 30 days before she unveiled the current company logo.
You can also feed this data back into the experiences of your customers, either by using it to customise the web page layouts for customers or combining your data with something quirky, like FitBit has.
Every year, every FitBit member receives a summary email covering their performance over the past year. Members are then encouraged to click though to see their ranking against others, so they can better track their performance. Not only is this engaging and enjoyable for members, it confirms FitBit’s reputation as being a fun and interactive business.
There is a heap of data that your organisation can collect, store and use to build top-notch customer experiences and increase your bottom line. When you are considering using your data, start from the end stage and outline 5-10 specific questions that you want answered. From here, you can work backwards and design the most appropriate data collection methods.