big data marketing concepts know your customer as individuals

Many digital marketers and business leaders find it easy to talk about the buzzwords, key technologies and popular social marketing, data and analytics technologies and happenings. We write about them. We tweet about them. We even present concepts at events and training workshops to teach others.

Unfortunately despite how much noise there is out there about some of these important foundational business technologies, best practices, processes and methodologies, there is still a lack of substance.

I recently attended the Teradata OneFest in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was an inspiring two days that brought together digital marketers and technology enthusiasts from around the globe.

We spent two days digging into the concept of individualized marketing and how we can leverage data and analytics to better know and service our customer.

It was inspiring as the conversations were not filled with bits and bytes of technical jargon, but instead focused on conversations and information geared around customer intimacy and creating the best customer experiences possible.

As Ray Wang stated during his breakout presentation, digital Darwinism isn’t going to be kind to those who wait. During his keynote, Brian Solis explained why innovation begins with an idea of how to improve something that may or may not be broken. True transformation is driven by a higher purpose. I couldn’t agree with this more.

Individualized marketing is a journey, not a destination.

How do we start the transformation? How do we shift our focus to understanding the data in a way that helps us create better experiences?

“Individualized marketing is a journey, not a destination” said Lisa Arthur, CMO of Teradata. She discussed this in detail during her keynote presentation. For those of you who follow me regularly, you know I have been saying the same thing for years as it relates to social business and digital marketing.

We must embrace the journey. We must embrace the bumps, valleys and winding roads. We must also learn how we can leverage the data to help us make the journey as efficient and enjoyable as we can for our customers and all who come in contact with our brand.

We talk about big data. We talk about analytics. We talk about how important it is to know our customers. However, the truth is most marketers don’t know their customer near as good as they should. They know them at surface level. They know them as a data set. They know them as a segment, but not as a person. Not as a human.

We need to start looking at marketing technologies, data and these new methodologies in a different way. We need to look at them with an open eye and mind to the possibilities.

We need to shift the 90% of time that is spent sifting through data, to decision making. We need to get better at pulling the needed data out more quickly and then spending the majority of the time understanding how it can help our business. We need to understand how it can help us better know, inspire and connect with our customer.

The goal is not to have the greatest big data set in the world. Instead our focus should be to know our customer. Our focus should be to serve our customers the best we can so we can overcome the average 89% churn rate due to bad service.

Did you know that 84% of people switch to another brand based on experience and social impact according to Adam Braun of Pencils of Promise?

We need to acknowledge that we aren’t selling products or services, we are selling experiences.

To make the customer experience the best it can be we must know our customer. We must know them as individuals. We must communicate with them as individuals, not simply market to them as a data set.

How can we create the “right time” moments that are memorable, unique, valuable and bring them closer to our brand consistently?

This is very important because as Jay Baer stated in his keynote presentation, By 2020 customer experience will overtake price as the key brand differentiator in B2B!

What’s Your Intention?

Our intention becomes as important as knowing the data or how predictive it is. Our intention drives our behavior.

Our intention drives the customer experience we develop. If our foundational intention is only to sell more widgets then we are going to wind up creating customers experiences designed around selling more widgets.

We will likely never fully tap into the power and value of the data to intimately know the customer with a goal of truly serving them the best experience possible.

We must get our intentions right from the beginning. We must know why we have a thirst for the data. We must fill our cups with information that is going to help us quench the thirst and satisfy the needs of our customer on a consistent basis.

“Data isn’t the panacea. Data driven marketing is about the insights that are behind the data” according to Lisa Arthur.

So I will ask you one more time. Do you know your customers as individuals? If not, maybe it’s time you do!

I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments below. We can help one another stay focused on the customer. We can help one another keep our intentions where they should be. How are you using big data and analytics to better know your customer as an individual?

Important Disclosure: I am partnering with Teradata for this post in support of the ONE: Teradata Marketing Festival in Las Vegas. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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