Owning Your Business Intelligence

Articles

By John Tan

You know more about your business and customers than anyone else. Then why, when it comes to marketing, does it feel like you need to defer to specialists?

Increasingly, in-house business intelligence is being replaced by the expertise of specialists, automation and software platforms. Of course, these tools and services can provide massive advantages, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of losing the ability to learn about your business.

Under the guise of ‘it’s too complicated’ or ‘it’s not my specialty,’ we are tempted to relinquish our intelligence to experts. When we allow social media marketing accounts to store our data on their platforms, we unknowingly give up ownership of our business intelligence.

Consider a small business who has built an audience of over 500,000 followers on Facebook. What happens when they decide to use another platform? Where are their contacts? Who actually owns their audience and business intelligence?

Leverage your customer data

Business owner views their customer data on an iPad.

You are sitting on a goldmine when you preserve ownership of your business intelligence. One source of business intelligence is your customer data, which can be leveraged and enhanced to benefit your business in highly profitable ways. As it is proprietary to your business, you can use it to analyze valuable information about your customers, such as relationship history, type of purchases, seasonality, who is or is not opening emails, preferred means of contact, who to cross-sell to, and active/inactive customers.

Additionally, if your product range cannot be explained in one ad, segmenting your data can be even more advantageous. You can start with the basics, like age, education, and income, but you can continue with behaviors and preferences, like buying activity, health interests, life events, and specific interests. Creating segmentation around demographics and psychographics allows you to define customer categories and deliver a more personalized experience.

Segmenting customer data

Business owner views segmented customer data on an iPad.

You may think you have a one size fits all customer experience, but consider an example where segmenting leads to a better customer experience for all. Segmenting based on your customers’ preferred contact method whether that is via email, phone, text, or app platform improves their experience. Getting this wrong could cause you to miss your customer, decrease the likelihood of a response, or annoy your customer to the point of unsubscribing.

Is opting not to segment worth it? Is collecting this data complicated? No! The possible payoffs of showing up the way your customers want you to far outweigh the likely outcomes of not segmenting your own data. Imagine owning your data, segmenting that data, and sharing it with your team so they can have an active role in continuously driving results. The applications are endless, but you need to own your data to do so.

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