Customer Data Management – 4 ways to unlock business growth

The importance of Customer Data Management

If your business has customers, it will collect customer data.  No doubt you’ll be spending a huge amount time and effort to manage customer, but do you spend a similar effort on customer data management?

Consider this, your brain processes a huge amount of data, but you only access and utilise a small part of it.   The same can be true in business.  Lots of data collected, the majority not used to it’s full potential.

Data is not called the ‘new oil’ for nothing.  It has a huge amount of value, manage it properly and you can unlock huge business growth.

 

Absorbing information

I recently met a memorable man.  David Roberts can retain and process more information than practically every person on the planet.  He’s been held a few World Records (including the longest recital of Pi), written a few books and even been on Oprah.

He was presenting at a workshop and taught us some techniques on how to unlock our memory.  Not surprisingly our brains can absorb and take in more data than we ever think would be possible.

Unfortunately, the way we do things and the other parts of our brain in the way and stop us maximising our potential brain power.

Fortunately, I’ve met David who is one of the best in the world at this type of thing.  I now understand the power of speed reading and some simple techniques for improving my memory.  Get in touch and I’ll share what David told me.

 

Your business potential

Your business is similar to your brain.  It absorbs a huge amount of information, but the way that you work can stop you from maximising all the opportunities the customer data you collect.  To quote one of our videos, “your business collects lots of data, but are you getting the most from it?’

Some of you might be ‘lost in email marketing lists‘, perhaps you are ‘drowning in data‘, or you’ve got a huge barrier in the because your business is ‘stuck in a legacy system’.

The good news is you probably have all the information, you just need a bit of help to unlock the potential from the data you collect.

Managing your customer data

The data I am referring to here is customer data. Here are a four typical scenarios that we help businesses to overcome through Websand.

 

Scenario 1:  A leaky bucket

This is a sales focused business, whereby growth is all about ‘new customers’.  As a result, you will have a huge amount of information about your customer acquisition.

You have your PPC set up.

You understand your conversion rates at each point of the process.

However once they become a customer that information gets eaten by business processes.  As a result, it’s really difficult to easily understand the true value of each customer, to understand their buying habits, or when they last purchased.

Given that the focus of the business entirely sales focused, the likelihood is that the customers that do buy, buy once and ‘walk through the business’ rather than return.

Depending on your business, that might be fine, however it might also be a huge opportunity to generate growth from existing customers through some data driven marketing (after all you have the data!)

 

Scenario 2: Excel as sticky tape.

In this situation, the business has a few really great business processes set up, but for them to really understand the what is going on across the business they use excel as ‘sticky tape’.

Data from different software is exported as a CSV into the ‘mother of all spreadsheets’.

This spreadsheet will give a huge amount of knowledge but it takes a huge amount of time to manage, is incredibly inefficient and puts the business at risk.  For example, what about data backups, what if the only person who understands the spreadsheet is ill or leaves?, what if the wrong spreadsheet is updated?.

Obviously we hope none of these risks occur, but since the data in such spreadsheets holds a huge amount of value to your business (and your business decision making), we’d suggest that you investigate alternatives, such as Websand 🙂

 

Scenario 3: Our data is rubbish

You collect data, possibly lots of it.  It’s data you want to use, but you aren’t sure how to get the best from it.  You potentially have a bit of ‘leaky bucket’ and also use ‘excel as sticky tape’.  But the bottom line is you just don’t trust the information you have.  Perhaps it’s old, perhaps it has gaps in it.

Some big changes are coming in regards to data protection, so if you don’t start preparing in the near future, then the majority of your data is most likely to be worthless rather than rubbish.

The reality of the data you hold is that some of it will be great, some of it will be poor.

A data audit will help identify the gaps and will help you unlock the opportunities from the data you have.

If you need help to audit your data or get your customer data management underway,  get in touch – we are here to help.

 

Scenario 4: Lost in email marketing lists

Email marketing needs data to function.  If you don’t have any data then you can’t use email marketing.

When you start email marketing it’s pretty simple.  Create one list.  Create a message.  Hit send.  Look at the report.

That’s great, but then things get a bit tricky…

 

Problem with Email Lists

Over time, things become more complicated.  You will collect more data.  You will create extra lists.

These lists may well include the same customers, so they could receive multiple versions of the same message.

If you don’t manage these lists regularly (which is a painstaking task), then it is very likely that the contacts in the list aren’t relevant to that list any more.   For example, if a prospect has become a customer – but still exists in the ‘prospects list’

We have a different approach, we manage the customer not the list.

Any ‘list segmentation’ you already have in place would become ‘customer segmentation’ within Websand.  That also means that any customers, or contacts that meet the criteria of your customer segmentation rules would be managed accordingly.

 

Problem with Email Reporting

1) Email marketing has a long tail.  So unless your email marketing campaigns are time sensitive, the reporting from the campaign is

2) Email reporting is usually reviewed as a collated report (how many opens etc).  This is great indicator, but the real value is in the individual responses or behaviour to each message and that is hard to manage.

 

Process

Since responses to email marketing are relevant to the individual as well as the campaign itself.   Websand collects every marketing event related to the email marketing that clients send out.

Each delivery, open or click is managed back to each individual contact so you can use this information in isolation or in relation to your profile and customer spend information to get a deep understanding of what has really happened and what the opportunities really are.

 

 

The Opportunities for your business

If you fit one of the scenarios described above, getting a strategy and a mechanism in place for customer data management can unlock huge opportunities for your business.

 

Deeper customer understanding

We focus on helping our clients understand their business based on the value of their customers.  Understanding your business based on the recency, frequency and spend of different customer persona’s can make a huge strategic difference to your business planning and marketing strategy.

 

Better marketing performance

Managed data makes it easier to create targeted marketing campaigns based around the key customer groups.  Marketing that is relevant, targeted and in context to each individual customer.

In our experience, that will improve your marketing performance by at least 30%.

 

Less work, better results

Your data is now managed, so you don’t need to spend hours, days or weeks managing spreadsheets or marketing lists.

And, your customer data is managed in the way that you need it.  This gives you more time to think and be creative in how you can use this data to improve performance.

 

Unlock your potential

Like a blocked drain, it can take a bit of work to get things moving, but once that drain is unlocked — whooosh, things can move pretty fast.   One of our clients doubled their daily sales, 5 minutes after we made their Websand instance live.

Putting an effective customer data management strategy can do the same for your business.

This strategy is not sector specific, its for any business that collects data.  With that in mind, let’s end with a Gary Player quote…

“Simply by making the effort to start something, you will be miles ahead of almost everyone else.”

You’ve got the raw materials, so what you waiting for?

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Also published on Medium.