The Value Behind Customer Analytics

Patti RennerIn the past few weeks, we’ve covered the value of switching from lists to profiles, and the value of storing customer information, purchase history, preference details, search and site activity, etc. within a universal profile environment. All that data, attributed to each individual consumer who engages with your brand (both people you know as well as those anonymous), needs to be a key part of a data management platform (DMP) solution. That’s because once those data points from across channels are seamlessly integrated into one place, wrapped around an individual’s profile, you can then drive a high level of targeting with your communications and campaigns, coordinate content across channels (based on previous message exposure and interests), and do some very cool things to help boost engagement and sales.

One of the best parts of having all your data stored in universal profiles within an advanced DMP system is the ability to run meaningful analytics. With a complete dataset offering that unified customer view, it’s easier to access and leverage information you already own to benefit both customer and brand. This can be a beautiful thing.

So we’re clear (and to make the idea of analytics a little less scary), let’s start with a definition. Forrester describes customer analytics as “the set of methods, tools, metrics, and technologies used to analyze customer data — where the goal is to inform customer acquisition and retention, enhance customer relationships, and drive customer profitability.”

Customers are funny creatures, aren’t they? One minute you think you know what they want – the next minute you have no idea what’s driving their interests. That’s what makes analytics so valuable. The right metrics can help you know what’s really going on. Understanding what drives decisions can also help shape your customer-focused approach – increasing customer satisfaction, boosting retention and loyalty, and creating a more positive flow of future interaction. All of the above can help to revitalize your brand. Happy customers mean better buzz and more repeat purchases. But it starts with the right data and knowing what to do with it.

“Tackling the overall approach to data integration is crucial because the volume of data is only going to get bigger with further device proliferation and cross-channel consumer behavior.” (Source: “The State of Customer Analytics 2012,” August 2012, Forrester Research Inc.)

Here’s what you need to get started:

  1. Higher data quality with integration across marketing-mix, channels, feeds and platforms. This means pulling together marketing and customer metrics within a proifile-based DMP, offering easy access to all your data within a single system.
  2. The right talent to help make analytics useable and actionable. Customer acquisition and campaign results are just the start. Things like predictive modeling, marketing-mix analysis, cadence strategies, cross-sell/upsell, and more can certainly spark increased revenues – but you need the right people in place. (Learn more about our actionable analytics team here.)
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