Into the Future: Leveraging Customer Data to Grow Your Business

When it comes to getting information, there is no lack of data available. In fact, the amount of data available on every individual in the country, not to mention the world, is growing by leaps and bounds every day.

Gathering data is one thing, but actually processing that data into a useful, coherent picture is a whole other issue. With AI, however, even that is becoming more and more possible. The final step is understanding how to take interpreted data to grow your business. Here are 5 ways in which you can leverage customer data to secure growth and success.

1. Identify holes in the market

Some of the most profitable businesses in the world leveraged a gap in the market. They found product or service that was not currently available and made it so. There are two ways to go about this, however.

The first is to listen to clients and consumers to identify their needs. The second is to come up with a product idea and try to sell the public on its merits. Needless to say, creating a product people are already looking for is a far easier sell than trying to convince them they have a genuine need for your product.

This is where big data can help. It can analyze hundreds of sources, from social media to customer surveys and questionnaires to customer feedback on competitor’s websites to determine what the common themes are. What are they commenting about, complaining about or requesting again and again?

Armed with this information, you can tailor your product line or service to meet the needs of a consumer base not yet currently getting its needs met.

2. Market testing

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of marketing has been the lack of truly comprehensive feedback about what marketing materials or campaigns were working and which weren’t.

While you may have noticed an increase in sales after a particular marketing campaign or drive, getting truly detailed information about where specifically your campaign was having the most impact was next to impossible.

Today, however, with advanced analytics, you can get detailed insights into exactly which campaigns are working and which are not and in what sectors.

Analytics can tell you what efforts are resulting in likes or clicks and which are actually being converted into sales. In addition, analytics can give you detailed information about demographic responses to determine if you have actually appropriately identified your target demographic or not.

It may turn out that the teens you initially targeted your campaign towards are not the actual consumers buying your product, but rather their moms. This information can help you find better tools to get your marketing to the right groups.

Analytics allow you to tweak, tailor and fine-tune your marketing efforts on-the-fly to supercharge their effectiveness mid-campaign.

3. Targeted product offerings

Data doesn’t just tell you what products people are buying, it tells you who is buying them. Buying preferences not only tell you a lot about your consumers, but they can also help you make specific product offerings that they may be interested in.

This can also be a good way to build good relationships with partner businesses that offer products that are complimentary to yours. If someone buys a certain pair of shoes or a bag, you can offer a cleaning or storage solution for them. If someone buys an electronic device, you can recommend a case or a charger for it.

Data can also tell you how to target market products for certain consumers. For instance, if 5 out of the last 7 products they purchased were all purchased in red, then when you send them product offerings, you can make sure the product offered is always pictured in red.

AI, analytics and automation are designed to work seamlessly together. By utilizing each tool, even the smallest of businesses can tailor their marketing to an individual and specific client or consumer.

4. Keep up with minute-by-minute changes in the market

You’ve probably noticed that almost all gas stations now have digital price boards. This is because gas station owners had to manually go out and change gas station prices every day based on current market prices.

In a market where prices are constantly in flux, however, digital boards allow an automated system to change prices numerous times each day to keep pace with fluctuating market prices. Analytics offer the ability for other businesses to adapt this same model.

Every day, events around the world can have a direct impact on your business and predictive analytics helps you stay on top of moment-by-moment events that can be so significant for the future of your business.

Say a revolt in China leads to the shutdown of a factory that make a component you depend on to create your own product. AI can alert you to this immediately so you can in turn immediately find another supplier so there are no delays in production.

In some cases, having this information first can help you lock down a contract before a competitor jumps in and starts a bidding war. Having necessary components while your competitor does not may lead to them no longer being able to offer product that you now can.

While targeted product offerings and analytics are nothing new, AI is growing by leaps and bounds to allow even the smallest of businesses the ability to take advantage of some of the tools giant corporations have been using for close to a decade.

Smaller businesses also have an advantage in that they often have smaller consumer bases, which allows them to use AI and automation to personalize their marketing and product offerings in ways big businesses can’t touch. This means that today’s small business has an opportunity like never before to compete with corporate giants.

 

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Reach out to her @jazzymin88

 

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  1. Pingback: How To Create The Ultimate Business Niche | nancyrubin

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