Marketing data isn't growing... it's positively exploding, according to Aneesh Reddy, CEO and co-founder of Capillary Technologies, who argues that today's rapidly evolving trends in technology, social networks and smartphones are all contributing to an overwhelming and unprecedented volume of marketing data, much of which delivers little or no real value.
Data pours into organisations from several sources such as Web server logs, blogs, clickstreams, and real-time trading data, paid advertising and social media. Gathering all this data is the easy part. The hard part is acquiring relevant insights from this deluge of data. After all, data in and of itself is of no use. It is the timely, relevant information drawn from this data that drives better decision making and superior business results.
Data inflows into an organisation provide very specific metrics on customer preferences, interests, buying behaviour, and demographics. With the right analysis and interpretation, this data can be converted into intelligence to enable better customer engagement and loyalty. This intelligence supports 'Just -In - Time' marketing campaigns and personalised customer service for improved customer experience and loyalty.
The highly empowered customer
Even as technology supports data collections for highly targeted customer engagement, technology empowers customers with the flip-side of data - access to unlimited, real time information. Consumers are bombarded with product choices through interactive platforms and marketing channels.
They actively seek relevant and personalised engagement long before committing to a purchase. Instead of the marketing department controlling the direction of marketing strategies, consumer behaviour influences the marketing model. Never before has the need to know a customer's profile and preferences been as important as it is now.
Shifting toward customer centricity
Competitive marketing strategies include customer centric messaging and marketing campaigns in order to stay deeply connected with the customer. Customized messaging and regular engagement results in valuable insights which help retailers and brands deliver what the customer needs and precisely when needed.
Social media and smart devices enable brands to reach out to customers in creative ways. Marketers can now easily develop an action plan to capture and turn the daily actions of their customers across channels into specific information for consumer insight. This insight is useful in customer segmentation and identification of a communication channel that maximizes the impact for each segment.
Time is money
In today's digital age, brands need to be able to convert data into applicable marketing insight and do so in real-time. The 'busy and always on the go' customer wants relevant engagement with the brand at the click of a button or the swipe of a screen. The ability to distil this data and extract insights into customer behaviour produces superior business results for retailers because they are able to anticipate a customer's needs and provide them with the right product/service, at the right time, in the right place and the right price.
Current trends indicate that the in-store shopping experience will slowly evolve into one similar to the online experience. Customers are already expecting the comfort and convenience offered by shopping online when they walk into a retail showroom. Offering kiosks and smart devices in stores enables brands to provide a personalised shopping experience which customers crave.
Brick and mortar stores are no longer a transaction point, but a point for extended brand communication. Establishing data capture mechanisms such as videos, POS terminals, or mobile devices inside the store allows retailers to put together a customer profile for each individual and provide customized experience for each shopper.
Data mining for treasure
Companies which are adept at sorting through vast stores of data efficiently gain insights to consumer behaviour patterns which provide guidance on product development and marketing strategies. Relevant data insights help retailers understand their customers better, conduct personalised and targeted campaigns, and monetize their fan base on social media channels.
This information is also valuable for enhancing in-store service and experience, allowing retailers to customize marketing and promotions, and for providing a positive customer experience and overall profitability.