Customer intelligence: why and how a data-driven business is a customer-centric business

The days when marketers could make decisions solely based on intuition or gut feeling are over. Nowadays, they must measure everything and base their decisions on data and on prognoses backed up by numbers.

Furthermore, the ROI of marketing is being monitored more often. Even though this is a good evolution, it shouldn’t stand in the way of creativity, innovation, and taking (controlled) risks.

The focus on data-driven marketing shouldn’t be an excuse to quit practicing activities more difficult to calculate, such as participating in online conversations and branding. And the power of a brand and commitment can be quantified too.

Yet generally speaking, good marketers nowadays have access to a variety of systems and data, which allows them to deploy more efficient and more relevant communication and marketing activities in comparison to earlier times.

Turning data into information into customer value

And in this case, by saying relevant, we also mean relevant for the user: someone who cleverly measures, acquires and links data (CRM, web analytics, social media monitoring, marketing automation, BI, etc.) is better able to meet the individual needs of the customer and prospect on a cross-channel level.

Most companies have an abundance of data. The real challenge lies in the field of acquiring, aggregating, linking, crossing, enriching, analyzing, and presenting these data, and then undertaking the necessary actions and decisions.

In reality, this data-driven culture doesn’t yet exist in a lot of companies. They do have plenty of data, but often lack the technology, platforms, and knowledge to effectively put into use.

This is a shame, because data-driven companies with real-time dashboards know what’s happening, are flexible, can quickly adjust their strategy, can better accomplish their business goals, have a better conversion, and are able to offer the customer useful communication and information in a more personalized way.

And all this is done with the needs, the beloved communication channels, and the ‘digital channels’ of the customer in mind.
Combining data and making the right analysis also helps in identifying new target groups, prospects, social media influencers, etc. Plus, it gives a more clear view on cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

The author is an interactive marketing consultant and experienced blogger. You can connect with him via Twitter or visit his blog.