Yogi Berra once said, “the future ain’t what it used to be.” While I laugh every time I repeat that accidental wisdom from the late Yankees legend, it does point out the importance of understanding and even predicting the future.
For data-driven marketers, we seek to better understand our best customers in order to not only predict but also to spur additional buying behaviors in the future. And those insights hopefully will allow us to focus energies on look-alike prospects that will bring us strong return on investment.
As marketing professionals, our job is to create demand that results in more customers buying our products. But how do we effectively target high-value sources of growth? While marketing channels continue to expand into digital technologies with new tactics, the foundation continues to be data and the insight it provides.
I’ve purposely avoided the term, “big data.” What makes compiled information about my customers “big data” and how do I get it back down into bite-size pieces that the Marketing Department can act upon? While flaunting how much you know about your customers might impress some CEO’s, I’m sure providing real insights into how to use that data will provide the real bang for your buck!
But many times, our biggest challenge is that we don’t truly know our customers, even our best ones. We may know their names and what they’ve purchased recently, but how does that help us get more customers? Most marketers freely admit that they could benefit from using third-party data to get a better picture of who their customers are and why they are purchasing.
And analytics can provide even more insight into who is most likely to purchase your products and services again and again. Descriptive analytics, like the AccuModel Snapshot provided by AccuData Integrated Marketing, finds and describes common attributes among your audience. By understanding what these demographic and interest categories are, you can better target look-alike prospects.
Modeling can help you create a targeted prospecting universe, revealing attributes and key differentiators of your best customers. This allows you to target prospects that are most likely to respond to offers, make purchases, renew subscriptions or donate to your cause.
Predictive analytics go beyond the basic profiling and can actually help you predict the future that so confused and confounded Yogi Berra. By understanding the behaviors, demographics and interests of your best customers, you can actually predict response, buying behavior or payment from another group.
That’s incredibly powerful data-driven forces at the hands of marketers that understand how to use insight to shape marketing practices and could lead to the competitive advantage we all seek.