This column is authored by Software Engineer, Riddhi Bhatt
Understanding the customer’s needs and desires and coming up with solutions for the same is the key to achieving success in any business. In order to do this, you must analyze the expectations and buying pattern of your customers and maybe examine their journey. We are constantly flooded with data thanks to the rise of the internet and social media. The face of marketing is changing as we have witnessed that digital marketing has replaced traditional marketing in the move from the print ad and billboard to search ad and landing page. This plethora of real time data which is found in any sort of business conducted today can actually be utilized to influence your customers’ decisions provided the data is captured and analyzed appropriately.
All marketers face the challenge of gaining critical insight into their customers — what they want, when they want it, and how. This is because the thought process of customers has changed a lot today due to the internet. All sort of information is available online and over time the customers have become more intelligent. You need to find out how individual customers interact with your brand — across channels — but data is often in silos, so putting all of it together is nearly impossible. And even once you have collated customer information, pinpointing actionable insights from multichannel data can be overwhelming.
Here we explore how real time data analysis can play a pivotal role in influencing your customers’ decisions.
1. Leverage the network traffic that you already have
Your network contains enormous data in motion and you should use it to its full potential. There are many companies who do not take advantage of their sea of data and you must make sure that you do not fall in this category. Harvesting this valuable information is the first baby step in understanding your customers’ experience and behavior in depth.
2. Do not make assumptions about your customers’ needs
Accept your customers for who they are and their choices, rather than you deciding their taste for them. Stay objective and allow the data to provide insight- after all, that is what the data is for.
3. Capture every detail to avoid blind spots
Blind spots can lead to missing critical information and an overall distorted picture of a customer’s experience. You must truly capture everything that can influence the customer’s behavior and experience.
4. Remember that quality is more important than quantity
After capturing everything, focus on feeding your analytics solution with the data that matters most. Your focus should be on the quality of the data rather than the quantity. You need to figure out which insights matter more.
5. Be proactive and agile
Employ the right technology and processes to leverage insights in real time. Data is either real-time or aging rapidly. If you collect informative data about your customers at a trade show, but can only use it days afterward, customer feedbacks lose relevance and value. Customer needs and priorities are always changing. Technology must be agile and able to adjust as well. Having the right automation technology in place is how you can achieve this. To ascertain that your analysts do not lag behind, you must be able to adjust the data you capture & process on the fly to be at par with continuously changing requirements.
6. Track consumers to find out what they want before they ask for it
Track consumer shopping habits by utilizing data sources like purchase history, social media, market trends, and customer demand. Find out how long customers stay on your website and what links they are clicking. You can utilize automated data gathering and analysis technologies to collect real-time customer data to identify patterns and predict what customers need before they are even aware of what they want.
Make sure that analytics does not have a negative impact on your customer’s experience. Capturing everything and avoiding blind spots should not impact your site’s performance.
8. Use every bit of the data you have
Accumulated data can hide critical insights. It is the granular information about your customers’ behavior and experience that will furnish the most valuable insights required to continuously improve your customer’s experience and business results. You can then deliver fully customized and strategic marketing interactions that will increase brand engagement and sales.
9. Look at the complete picture
Capture the data whether your customers interact with your website/web application from a smartphone, a tablet or a computer. Correlate the data that resides in different data stores to make sure you are able to look at the big picture. The data should be correlated as soon as possible in your processing to gain complete, accurate and effective insights on time.
10. Be platform neutral
You must make sure that you can capture customers’ experience and behavior information from any type of device (laptop, desktop, smartphones, phablets, tablets, etc.). This is because different customers may use different platforms to make online purchases or just normal browsing. So, you must be able to record data on every possible platform to get accurate results from your data analysis.
In a nutshell, by ensuring that right data is available for effective analytics, companies can find new and innovative ways to understand their buyers’ experience and behavior. Thus they can influence their customers’ decisions and optimize business results.