Combining the power of analytics with the speed and flexibility of the cloud can generate the kind of real-time insights that help customer relationships flourish.
How well do you truly know your customers? And does your business have the technology to nurture them and get them to buy from you? Nearly three-quarters of customers rank their experience with a business as being important to their buying decisions. And an even higher number – 86% – say they’d pay more if it meant getting a better customer experience. Clearly, customers want vendors to understand them – and cater to their needs. Cloud data analytics may be able to help.
Why? To develop positive customer relationships, companies need data. And to pull the right degree of value out of that data, they need access to the right customer data and a strategy for how to go about deriving value from customer data.
The term “customer data analytics” means different things to different people. For some, it might mean gathering customer information to create a profile of your company’s target market. For others, it might mean analyzing the customer journey to see how customers are interacting with your business, products, or partners. However it is defined, customer data analytics is all about using data to make smarter decisions to grow and retain valued customers.
See also: How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Customer Experience
Customer data analytics’ rapid rise
Customer data analytics is not new, but there are some factors that have made its importance more apparent in recent years. The rise of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have created a plethora of consumer feedback. Other sites like Quora and G2 Crowd have also amassed customer reviews and public questions that companies can view. Data analytics can help you discover how customers behave on your website, or off-site, and better determine customer opinion of your brand. This knowledge should drive business decisions and help you align with changing customer and marketplace needs.
There are several ways you can use customer data analytics in your business. One of the most important is leveraging data insights to improve marketing and advertising campaigns. In today’s digital world, marketers need to be increasingly innovative and creative to meet changing demands. The insights from customer data analytics help you better understand how your customers are engaging with your brand and what messages will resonate best. Using customer data analytics will also help you utilize your budget more efficiently by running campaigns that align with customers’ interests. Revenue starts and stops with your customers, so understanding how, why, and when they buy (or don’t buy) will ultimately lead to revenue.
Another way is to use analytics to develop a robust social media strategy. Social media has become a key marketing channel for companies of all sizes, but it can be challenging without a solid plan in place. Customer data analytics can help you create an effective social media strategy, offering insights into the social platforms that your customers use, which messages resonate the most with different audiences, and how often to post your content to maximize conversions. Modern consumers are constantly connected and actively engaged online, so using the right channels is critical for any company that wants to connect with its customers.
See also: Customer Journey: Speed to Insight is the Critical Metric
Shifting data to the cloud
In order to incorporate customer data into your marketing and social media strategies, the data needs to be accurate and clean, and you need the ability to securely store it without creating a barrier between your data and the teams that need to access data for decisions. Data warehouses have been used for enterprise analytics and reporting for decades, but on-premises warehouses weren’t designed to handle today’s explosive data growth and have had trouble keeping up with user demands. Shifting your data model to the cloud removes many of the constraints imposed by physical data centers, which take up space and require constant maintenance.
Storing data in the cloud allows users to dynamically scale their data warehouses—up or down—to meet changing business requirements. Data stored inside a cloud-based data warehouse is structured and unified in a common pool. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the data being ingested needs to be structured, but using a cloud data warehouse allows users to access compliant, standardized, and accurate data when they need it. Furthermore, cloud-based warehouse architectures are significantly speedier than their on-premises counterparts, so you gain access to customer data quickly and efficiently – allowing you to meet customer demands as they happen.
Your customer data analytics strategy
Now that you’re familiar with customer data analytics and how to best find and use your data, here are four ways these insights can help you connect better with customers, starting today.
1. Find Areas of Opportunity
It’s important to know your customers as intimately as possible, including their likes, dislikes, and needs. The more you know about your customer base, the better you can pinpoint areas of opportunity within your company. 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 a vast world with infinite information. You can use this data to your advantage by seeing what your competitors are doing and how they’re using data analytics to fuel their business success. By following them on social media or seeing what they post on their website, you can see how they’re trying to lure in potential customers and what successes or failures they’re experiencing.
3. Get Early Warning Signs Before They Happen
One of the most important benefits of customer data analytics is being able to see early warning signs before shifts in behavior happen. Whether that means a dip in sales or a shift in sentiment from customers, getting ahead of these things can give you more time to react and address issues before they impact your goals. Being able to take preemptive action will allow you to do some damage control before it becomes an irreversible issue for your company.
4. See What Customers Are Saying About Your Brand
If something is wrong with your product or service, it may be difficult for you to determine without feedback from your buyers. Buyers are increasingly turning to customer data analytics to aggregate data from public sources and achieve a more holistic view of customer sentiment.
The journey from lead to customer can vary drastically depending on the channel, the stage of the sales process, and other factors. To strengthen revenue streams, it’s critical to know the core metrics and activities that you need to track. Unfortunately, these are often locked in multiple systems and lack a holistic view of business health. A cloud data warehouse or data platform can help bring this data together and reduce the blind spots in your customer journey. A cloud data warehouse can also provide the ability to integrate, cleanse and ensure data is accurate across systems, which will allow your customer teams to spend more time where it matters most – with your customers.
Understanding customers is no longer an aspirational goal – it’s mission critical. By combining the power of analytics with the speed and flexibility of the cloud and technologies that enable efficient data management, organizations can generate the kind of real-time insights that help relationships flourish.