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There is a lot of customer data collected these days. But, how much do we really know about our customers? The very fundamental aspect of marketing is to give customers a better experience and align with their interests in real time.
However, a part of our customer understanding comes from what we think is valuable to our customers, average deal size, repeat purchases, etc. But usually, these insights are narrow and not in real time. Therefore, the key question is – how much of what we know is fact, and how much is fiction?
Data and its reliability
It is absolutely important for marketers of today to be data-driven, and organizations are beginning to make large investments in customer data platforms. While it is one thing to capture data, ingest and get insights – the accuracy of data, becomes more important.
Marketing and sales teams need to come together and agree on what would be an acceptable quality of data. According to a recent report from Dun & Bradstreet, only 16% of marketers felt that their data quality was excellent. Data is fragmented: Every piece of data comes from different sources, and has different levels of sophistication, making it only as good as its source.
If the data is inaccurate or continuously deteriorating, it may lead to bad campaign results, customer irrelevance and more.
Putting together a data enrichment strategy in place would be critical because this data will flow into the CRM and marketing automation systems sooner or later based on the marketing nurture cycle. Data enrichment apps not only help you review the quality of existing data but also fill up the gaps of inadequate data or inaccurate information. It may be mean uniform formatting, updating records up-to-date, ensuring relevance of information and more.
Customer data is accurate, now what?
Let’s say your customer data is accurate and integrated across your business environment – what do we analyze and why? For instance, you need to be able to use the processed customer data to understand who your customers are, are they really interested in your products, and is your product a good fit for them, and more. While most marketers know their target customers at a firmographic level such as information on employee headcount, annual revenue, industry, targeted job titles, etc., very few marketers explore intent and fit data.
With the advent of AI, marketers can now look at the intent data to understand where the customer is in their buying cycle and segment them accordingly, so that you can customize the communications accordingly.
Getting actionable intelligence
To create a long-term customer isn’t only about catering to their needs but also being able to pick up their buying signals, understand their behavioral patterns and more importantly, being able to use the insights to personalize their customer experience (CX).
Actionable intelligence is the key. With solutions, you can get 360° account intelligence, and stay relevant to the customers, by pitching the right products at the right time. In fact, it gives you automated pitch points for each customer account, based on their buying signals and where they are in the purchase cycle.
Finally, it’s not about how many fields of information we get about our customer – but about the fact whether it really helps our cause? Unless it is actionable, it is not customer intelligence but just another data set.