Companies are generally very good at collecting customer data. They have processes and systems in place to record every touch point a customer has with them. Whether it be in-store, online, through an email or direct mail campaign or via telesales and telemarketing, behaviour is tracked from various sources and saved into various systems.
However, all too often this data is not integrated, it is stored in different locations or departments (web databases/offline databases/telesales databases etc) and is never consolidated into one central location. As a result companies fail to create an individual customer view and ultimately miss seeing the value of their data.
This is because segmented customer data can’t be analysed for trends or buying habits and opportunities to cross sell or up sell are missed. Most importantly, you cannot build a relationship with your customer without knowing everything about them.
By using an intelligent data management solution that will automatically pull customer data from your various sources into one central database, you can start to build an individual view of each customer, learn everything about them and begin to build valuable, meaningful relationships.
When you can see, on one simple interface who your customer is, their browsing and buying history, what messages they respond to, how they respond, at what time, what they like and don’t like you can communicate with them in a relevant and targeted way, learn about them and understand how they interact with you. By doing this you begin to add real value to your data.
The next step needs to be taken in data capture and individual customer views need to be created to ensure trends and behaviours aren’t missed or ignored and businesses can begin to learn about every aspect of their customer.
Social media is all the rage and no end of people are trumpeting what it is and why you are nothing without it. But the honeymoon period is over - what businesses need now is concrete information: how, actually, do you use social media as a marketing tool in your business? And what’s the return on investment?
In a couple of weeks, businesses and social media practitioners will gather in Exeter to discuss these very issues and by the sounds of it, we wont be let out of the room until we have the answers!
The Like Minds event in Exeter takes place on Friday, 16 October at Exeter’s Conference Centre, and not only does it have sponsorship from social media savvy big business boys, the organisers have also sourced small-business owners and managers to put forward their experiences and views on how these new tools can be used in smaller firms.
Event organiser, Scott Gould explains: "Every business owner knows that social media is providing plenty of new opportunities for new business, it’s enabling firms to engage more deeply with current clients, and it’s helping them become a stronger leader in their market.
"But every business also has the query of how to implement it, coupled with the fear of making mistakes and getting it wrong. For the businesses that are doing it, and particularly agencies offering social media to their clients as a service, a roadblock they may be facing instead is providing return on investment.
"Like Minds is a gathering, bringing together some of the world's foremost social media and media experts who will be discussing, debating, and answering your questions."
Naturally, Marketing Donut will be there and we’re planning to provide a live blogging commentary of the highlights and report back to you the big ideas and how they can be implemented in small businesses.
The event promises to be a purposeful mix of speakers, panel discussions and networking. So, don’t forget to tune in!