What are you doing with all that customer data you're hoarding?
From names and contact information to the frequency of purchasing, total lifetime value and beyond, these insights are good for more than file cabinet filler. With the right pieces of information about your clients, you can craft your entire lead generation strategy around solid facts instead of educated guesses.
If you keep any kind of record of your business interactions, then you are already sitting atop a honeypot dripping with profit-driving details, even if you don’t realize it. Recognizing and understanding concrete evidence about the people who fuel your business can propel your marketing farther than hunches or “gut feelings” could ever accomplish alone. The best part is, you don’t have to be a corporate giant or employ a suite of data experts to implement a customer data marketing strategy. Here are three easy steps to help you get started:
Step 1: Dive deep into data that is already available.
You don’t have to launch a massive market research campaign to know what your current client base needs and wants. In truth, you may already have enough information to set your marketing efforts on a customer data-driven course. Here are some places you can start your search:
·Your existing electronic database (CRM, ERP, schedule manager, etc)
·Online reviews of your business or product
·Previously conducted client surveys
·Email campaign and website analytics
·Social Media pages
Your focus should remain on picking out only those pieces which can give you a measurable ROI. If you are not sure exactly what to look for, answer these questions:
·Who spends the most money on my products/services?
·How did my clients find out about my business - online search, friend, walk in, direct mail, etc?
·What made my customers buy from me?
·Where are my clients physically located?
·Why did my clients choose my business over a competitor’s?
·Why did former clients stop doing business with me?
·What are my clients’ overall opinion about the services I provide?
·What suggestions for improvements have my clients offered?
As you explore your current data troves you are likely to develop new ideas that can't yet be developed because you have not collected the data that would support them. If this is the case, in addition to crafting data strategies based on what you know, you can generate an action plan to learn more about what you don't know.
Start brainstorming on how you can fill the holes in your data collection, and why it will be worth it. It could be as simple adding a field to a lead form, or as complex as upgrading to new software solutions that can facilitate better data tracking and analytics.
Step 2: Develop your marketing efforts around a segment of data.
As unique individuals, we all demonstrate different needs at different times, and respond to and act on different triggers. So, arguably, there are potentially as many different ways to market as there are people. Local businesses often make the mistake of trying to market universally to broaden their reach, especially considering their marketing budgets are but a fraction of those of large-scale enterprises.
In reality, your marketing can go much further if you carefully segment your targets and speak directly to the people you are selling to, rather than promoting a one-size-fits-all plan.
One easy way to segment is deciding to market to current clients, new business, or former customers. Each of these groups stand at a different stage of familiarity with your company, and may require different incentives to earn their business. Once you decide who you want to target, incorporate other bits of customer data into your strategy to remain as targeted as possible. The more specific your marketing, the more personalized you can make your campaign and the bigger your ROI can grow.
Step 3: Test, track, and tweak using data garnered directly from your customer data strategy.
Every data strategy you implement fosters the creation of more data, so put it to good use. Once you put your action plan into play, take note of the results:
·Did I achieve my initial goal(s)?
·How long did it take for customers to respond to my call to action
·What is my ROI on this strategy?
·Did I receive any positive or negative feedback about this campaign?
Use this new set of data to test, track, and tweak your campaigns until you get the results you want. You may get it right on the first try, or you may need to rethink your target audience or learn more about what makes them tick.
You can never have too much data - you simply need to know how to best utilize it.
About the Author
Ben Shepardson, owner of NoStop Content, has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.More Content by Ben Shepardson