Stuart O’Neill, business development director SAP hybris ANZ, argues anyone can collect data, it’s what you do with it that counts. And here’s his five tips on how to make it happen…
Data, data, data – it’s everywhere, but it’s not the size or quantity of your data that matters it’s what you do with it. For marketers out there wanting to run successful data driven campaigns, here are my top five tips:
Ask the right questions
Before you even start trying to personalise marketing campaigns or figuring out who your customers are, confirm your business objective. What are you trying to do? What questions do you need to ask to get the information you need? What information is actually relevant? There is little point accessing vast tracts of data, if most of it is irrelevant to the marketing campaign you want to launch. Consider the data you need for your campaigns. What works in your direct marketing campaign, won’t necessarily be effective in your online campaigns.
Centralise the data
Often working in silos, organisations can find it very difficult to pull together real-time information from different departments and different channels. By the time the report is gathered, it’s out of date and very few Marketers in Australia can get a real-time 360 view of their customers. The IT function in the past might have been responsible for pulling data together for an analytics project but the social media data is handled by marketing, information on sales and customer transactions by various Sales teams so you need to either figure out how to centralise the data or pull it in from different departments. Because at the end of the day your customers do not work in silos so your data about customers must also be seamless. If your data isn’t seamless, neither will be the experience you offer to your customers.
Apply analytics to predict customer behaviour
Customers are rich sources of information. Customer data doesn’t only give insight into preferences but also behavioural patterns, intent and motivation. Patterns, intent and motivation build a contextual picture. By pulling information together on what clothes a customer has bought in the past, you may be able to suggest other similar items? Or perhaps accessories to match their purchases?
Personalise your offer
Consumers are best engaged when targeted with the right message at the right time and through the right channel. Generic demographically based segmentation leads to email blasts with no context and no personalisation, these blast therefore only end up filling up our deleted items. With brands such as Netflix and Amazon, we’re used to goods and services being offered that suit our preferences but what about the context of that offer? For example, I might be buying flowers for a customer who likes red roses, but I don’t, so I wouldn’t appreciate subsequent emails being sent to me with offers on red roses. By personalising the message and making it relevant there is a far higher return on investment.
Many Marketers are relying on the wrong parameters to personalise communication how old I am or what generic bucket I fit into. As I am not always buying for myself. So marketers should be tapping into irrational, emotional and contextual factors to win over today’s customer.
Analyse your campaign
As you become more adept at data-driven strategies, it’s important to continually analyse marketing performance to maximise effectiveness and optimise ROI. As business goals shift or new data patterns emerge, marketing initiatives must also change. Delivering an amazing and seamless customer journey, where all steps – from billing to customer service, to buying and then collecting – working flawlessly together is nothing short of what the consumer expects. Marketers must smartly use metrics to prove the value of being a data-driven organisation and to demonstrate marketing’s contribution to overall business growth.