Businesses are loaded with customer information, but unable to act upon it

Business owners think they have a great understanding of their customers, but a new survey shows they're completely clueless.

Thanks to increasingly sophisticated analytics tools, virutally every business owner now has access to an array of information about his or her customers: Where they live, what language they speak, their gender, and even their income levels. You know what pages on your website they look at, and through your sales analytics, you know what products they buy.

Sure enough, an upcoming survey from Yesmail Interactive shows that 53 per cent of marketers say they have an excellent understanding of their customers' past purchase behaviour, and 42 per cent say they have an excellent understanding of their customers' demographic information.

In theory, that information can be used to develop an insightful picture of your customers, which can in turn be used to customise product and service offerings. The problem: This information doesn't seem to be particularly useful in its current form when it comes to truly understanding how customers behave, and businesses don't really realise it.

Mike Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive, says "When it comes to deeper insights that can be used to build one-on-one relationships with customers, most marketers don't have access to the necessary data."

He points to additional data points from the survey, which note:

  • Only 20 per cent of marketers say they have an excellent understanding of customers' level of participation in social media
  • Only 21 per cent have an excellent understanding of customer channel preference
  • Only 27 per cent have an excellent understanding of household composition
  • Only 29 per cent have an excellent understanding of whether their customers have a propensity to buy a particular product or service

"The research suggests that 80 per cent of B2C companies rely on little more than transaction and basic profile data for segmentation," says Fisher. "Yet most marketers think they know their customers sufficiently well, revealing a disconnect between self-perception and reality. The survey shows that most companies have a very basic targeting strategy, which limits their ability to truly get to know their customers."

In response, Fisher offers some tips on getting at a deeper and more valuable understanding of customer data. That starts with looking less at what products you've been selling and more at how numerous data sources interact to create a fuller look at your customers and their behaviour.

"Brands should start thinking about the customer journey and response-based engagement that moves away from transactional information to relational data. They need to build a complete picture of their customer based on a relationship developed over time through a series of interactions across multiple channels. Instead of bombarding customers with non-targeted messages, businesses should be striving to be personal and relevant," says Fisher.

How do you do this?

"Research has consistently shown that relevance drives revenue," says Fisher. Customer messaging should be hyper-targeted to customers using up-to-the-minute data and information like "behaviour and life stage triggers, web browsing and online behavior history, and likelihood-to-purchase scores."

And businesses aren't the only ones that benefit from this relationship, he adds. When business messaging is more appropriate, consumers are happier with the relationship, too. (Which ultimately should lead them to buy more from you.)

Yesmail's full report on the subject is forthcoming in a few weeks.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

The saying is pretty tongue in cheek. It's not saying that marketers are bad people, nor that they don't take themselves seriously. There...

LYF Solutions

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in