Business leaders and marketing professionals know that a company’s most valuable asset is its customers. In fact, data analytics and data-driven customer insights are the competitive differentiators of 2022. Using customer data analytics is about more than just increasing revenue and customer satisfaction levels; it’s about the entire business ecosystem and developing a deeper understanding of it through actionable data insights. Customer data analytics can be used to create a competitive advantage, bring new products and offerings to market, and create a successful brand strategy.
Defining customer data analytics
Gartner defines customer analytics in this way:
Customer analytics is the use of data to understand the composition, needs, and satisfaction of the customer. Also, the enabling technology used to segment buyers into groupings based on behavior, to determine general trends, or to develop targeted marketing and sales activities.
As you can see, the term “customer analytics” can encompass a wide array of outcomes. For some, it might mean gathering customer information to create a profile of your company’s target market. For others, it could mean analyzing the customer journey to see how customers are interacting with your business. As you move into various industries, the use cases become even more varied. However you define it, customer data analytics is all about using data to make smarter decisions when it comes to acquiring and retaining customers.
While the term may sound daunting, the benefits of using customer data analytics in a business strategy are innumerable. Utilizing data analytics can allow you to learn how customers behave on your website, what they like and don’t like about your brand, and what they find most important in your product. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make more customer-centered decisions to align with the changing needs and wants of each individual customer, and the larger marketplace.
Why use customer data analytics for your business?
There are three primary reasons for using customer data analytics: 1) to understand customer needs and tailor your products accordingly, 2) to improve marketing and advertising campaigns, and 3) to improve your customer experience.
Understanding customer needs
Using data analytics can allow you to better understand what customers like or dislike about your product. By identifying their feedback, you can use it to improve their experience with your products and overall brand. Customer data analytics make it easier to identify who uses your product or service and track customer interactions. Identifying trends and patterns can help you make important decisions that impact your bottom line.
For example, the rise of social media platforms has had a huge impact on the importance of data analytics in understanding your customers. Users on social media can leave business reviews and publicly ask questions, giving companies access to more information on their customer base than ever before. If you notice that a significant percentage of customers dislike a specific quality of your product or service, you can take this insight and alter the product to increase user satisfaction. Identifying and addressing customer needs are an obvious “must” for all businesses, but those who get ahead will go out of their way to actually analyze and inform the next stage of decision-making.
Improving marketing and advertising campaigns
Additionally, customer data analytics can be utilized to improve marketing and advertising campaigns. Pulling insights from customer data analytics can help marketers better understand how customers are engaging with a brand, as well as what messages will resonate best. In today’s digital world, marketers need to be increasingly innovative and creative in order to stay ahead of the curve. Using customer data analytics can help you make more efficient use of your budget by running campaigns that align with a customer’s interests.
When it comes to marketing, one size does not fit all. Today, you must be able to dynamically personalize every message so that each customer feels seen, appreciated, and valued. In order to do this, many marketers use predictive analytics tools that gather information on customers based on patterns in past behavior.
Data analytics can also be used to develop a robust social media strategy. Social media has become a key marketing channel for companies of all sizes, but it is extremely challenging without a solid plan in place. Customer data analytics provide the necessary insight to strategize effectively, offering a look into which platforms are key for your customers, which messages work best for different audiences, and how often to post.
Similarly, your website analytics can help you improve your company’s broader online presence. Determine what customers are doing on your site, where they enter the site from, and what pages they visit, and use those insights to further improve the customer experience. The modern consumer is constantly connected online, so it’s critical that any company wanting to connect with customers have a strong online presence, both on social media and on their own website.
Improving Customer Experience
Customers interact with many parts of your organization. Finance, support, marketing, sales, and partners will probably interact with your customers at one time or another. Bringing together analytics from all of these interactions can provide a much more comprehensive view of your customer’s journey. Having a holistic view of these interactions can help you find ways to better service your customers and avoid poor customer experiences before they happen. You can also use this data to create or improve customer loyalty and rewards programs so that your customers continue to feel valued.
How to start using customer data analytics today
Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of and primary uses for customer data analytics, let’s take a look at four actionable ways that you can implement customer data analytics, starting right now.
1. Find areas of opportunity
It’s important to know your customers as intimately as possible: their likes, dislikes, wants, and needs. The more you know about your customer base, the better you can pinpoint areas of opportunity within your company. And the more opportunities you find, the higher chance you have of meeting those needs and making a sale.
2. See what your competitors are doing
The Internet is an expansive world with an infinite amount of information; use this to your advantage by researching what your competitors are up to and how they use data analytics to fuel their own business success. Scan through their social media and what they’re posting on their website, and you can see their strategies to lure in potential customers. Learn from their successes and failures to improve upon your own tactics.
3. Get early warning signs before a shift in behavior
One of the most important benefits of customer data analytics is using warning signs to predict changes in behavior before they happen. This might mean a dip in sales or a shift in customer sentiment. Being able to act preemptively will allow you to prevent damage, or at least prep damage control, before any significant changes become an irreversible problem for your business.
4. Observe What Customers Are Saying About Your Brand
If customers are dissatisfied with a product or service, it’s difficult to determine without any feedback from your buyers. Customer data analytics can help you aggregate data from public sources so you can take a holistic view of customer sentiment.
User feedback is extremely valuable information, so make sure to weigh every review and learn to recognize patterns. Whether or not you alter company strategy to meet the needs of customers is what will ultimately lead to the failure or success of your business.