Customer Data & Insights Make For Better Marketing Decisions and Bigger Business Growth
For a manufacturing company, developing a strong, data-driven growth strategy can be challenging. Your company has established marketing and sales goals, but when it comes to determining exactly how you’ll reach them and backing it all with data–that’s where things can get cloudy.
Backtrack, how can I capture customer data of my own?
In the past, we marketed to the masses. We designed our messaging for a broad audience and crossed our fingers that it stuck. Today, our strategies aren’t successful unless they are targeted for a specific audience. This means it is more important than ever to capture customer data and use it to make important marketing and sales decisions.
The most reliable type of data you can capture is first-party data or self-reported data. This kind of information, unlike second or third-party data, consists of information that is given voluntarily by people. Knowing that you can rely on your data is important. After all, it is what you’ll be using to make critical business decisions. See the methods we suggest for collecting your own first-party data below.
Methods for collecting first-party data can include:
- Online user data (Google Analytics, etc.)
- Collect internet browser cookies
- Extend surveys and polls
- Focus groups
- Practice social listening (assess user-generated content)
- Offer rebate programs and other incentives tied to questions
- Warranty registration
- Any avenue that allows customers to freely give their information
Once data is collected, it’s time to compile it into something you can actually use in your business growth strategy–consumer insights.
So you say I can leverage customer insights to improve and grow my business?
Information about consumers, their behavior, their relationship to your brand or industry, their emotions, and so on should be compiled into a consumer insights report. These insights can then be used to make key marketing and sales decisions that will, in turn, help your business grow. Below we’ve listed the various ways you can leverage consumer insights to do so.
Define customer profile
Data insights can help paint a clear picture of who your customers are. In the past, businesses relied on limited insights to understand their customers and make decisions. Today with data analytics, companies can gain a much more in-depth understanding of who their customers are. This can include interests, websites they visit, social media channels they visit, etc.
Improve customer experience
Today’s customer has become accustomed to a personalized buying experience that revolves entirely around them. In order to stay competitive and grow in today’s marketplace, you must deliver this unique and targeted experience customers want.
Use customer insights you gather through testimonials, social networks, purchasing history, duration of customer interaction with your company, lifetime value, results of polls and surveys, mobile app analytics, and so on to understand the customer. From there you can tailor various aspects of your customer experience to align.
Your customer insights can help you through the various stages of product development. Brainstorm and test new product ideas, determine when to retire (or expand) specific products or product lines, change features of products to fit customer needs–the list of opportunities goes on and on.
There is no bigger waste of time and resources than developing something customers won’t see the value in. The best way to dodge that is to ask customers what they want before you start building anything. Keep in mind, your customer’s needs will continuously change so adaptation will be critical. If your customer insights are telling a different story than you tell yourself, it’s time to be humble and pivot.
Marketing can be expensive, but when it’s effective, it’s worth it. Customer insights can help you strengthen your promotional efforts and ensure their return. Whether it’s testing current marketing campaigns or gaining a better understanding of who your customer is and creating promos around that–your marketing team can gain a lot from customer insights.
Maximize customer value
Through customer data, you can gain insight into who your customers are most likely to make a repeat purchase, who has the potential to be upsold on your products or services, and who of your customers are loyal promoters of your brand. If your company has growth goals, it’s in your best interest to not only determine customer value, but to prioritize those with high value.
Improves sales partner performance
Through customer purchase data, you can understand the performance of your sales channels better. Customer complaints, refund requests, customer loyalty, and other pieces of data can all add up to help you better determine which of your partners are performing well and helping to instill a positive brand awareness in your customers.
As you can see, there’s plenty of opportunities to improve some of the decisions and efforts your business is driving every day with customer insights.
At Incentive Insights, we’re big advocates for using customer and sales incentives to collect information on your customers or sales partners. We’ve seen what the companies we work with are able to turn around and do with the data they collect through an incentive.
We created a guide to help you plan and execute a customer rebate program to collect data. Included in the guide are instructions on how to create a submission form that allows you to collect the types of data you need.