By Jasal Shah, MD & CEO – Avidestal Technologies
There is an age-old saying, ‘you cannot manage what you cannot measure.’ Data analytic tools and software provide organizations with the means to measure. By collecting, analyzing, and reviewing data, organizations arrive at insights invaluable to streamlining marketing strategy and growth. These could be long-term or short-term growth opportunities. For example, in the automotive industry, car companies and the government gathered data over the years about how people behaved on the road and their driving patterns. The analysis of this data resulted in making self-driven cars a reality! In industries including fast food, banks, insurance, and retail, data is being leveraged regularly to reduce the cost of customer care.
The benefits of data-driven marketing are thus well-understood and documented. For one, it provides an analysis of consumer behavior, wherein businesses can use data to better understand their audiences’ demographics, interests, pain points, and other aspects. It provides information for every phase of the customer journey, helping companies determine customer habits at each stage and thus personalizing communication accordingly. It provides insight into the acquisition cost of new customers. Entrepreneurs ensure their efforts are successful with each advertising and marketing campaign to ultimately provide a return on investment and revenue for their business.
‘Spray and pray tactics wherein marketing messages are sent out to as many people as possible in the hope that they will buy the product/service do not work anymore. Instead, providing a personalized consumer experience is the key to growing and gaining a competitive edge. Indeed, more than 70% of online consumers say that they are more likely to shop from businesses that offer personalized experiences. Furthermore, according to a report by Hubspot, companies that leverage personalization in their email marketing strategies get 72% more positive responses.
The challenge of managing big, dynamic data
The challenge lies in the fact that, as a business, it is not easy to level up quickly in the fast-changing digital world. While descriptive and predictive analytics can help companies to understand their customers better, the entire process can be very difficult to implement and execute.
What’s more, over the last decade, there has been an explosion of digital data fuelled by mobiles in everyone’s pockets. Businesses are swimming in pools of data coming in from different sources. Just consider all the possible customer touch points for a typical business today – over and above the physical channels, there is email, websites, search engines, social media, along with tech-based logistics tracking. New age technologies like artificial intelligence and the adoption of voice-based tech tools have further enhanced the pool of consumer behavioral data. Whether it is tagging a person’s picture on Facebook or auto texts to a friend using Siri, AI-based data intervention has begun, and it will only get more pronounced.
We have also jumped from e-commerce to m-commerce to q-commerce or quick commerce, where the cycle from order to customer delivery is crunched down significantly. As a result, there is a need to not only understand the pulse of the customer but also to do so daily and, in some cases, even on a transaction-by-transaction basis. In such a dynamic landscape, how can businesses harness all the data accessible to them efficiently, quickly, and cost-effectively?
Keeping up with data in real-time
In the current environment, data collection, analysis, and review need to happen faster and more dynamically. Businesses can no longer afford time lags between collection and review of data to formulating business strategy. Mapping usage patterns, customer experience, and feedback have to be compiled in real-time, and data analytics software has to be intelligent enough to not only analyze data but also recommend a strategy. A product that covers all these can help businesses scale and grow in their pursuits.
The fact that companies like Google continue to thrive, despite several others that came and vanished in its domain is proof enough that data analytics and business intelligence are the doors to future business excellence and success. Google completely relies on the data analysis results produced by online consumer interactions for its business success.
Making crucial business decisions like introducing a new product, investing in marketing, buying products, and more is made easier with the help of customer feedback surveys. In the media industry, the New York Times, regarded as one of the most successful digital publications globally, has attributed its entire success to data analytics. It built a machine learning program that collected consumer preferences, likes, and dislikes using surveys and then analyzed the findings to create more personalized offerings and show targeted ads.
In a fast-moving world where data is created so frequently, it is imperative to make data capture and review an inherent process of the customer transaction. Automated, pre-set questionnaires for industries/objectives and intelligent data analytic software can help businesses of all sizes – from niche to mass, unorganized to organized – to appropriately leverage data from the big data explosion and make smarter predictions. This will set the foundation for companies to significantly increase productivity from marketing campaigns.