The term ‘big data’ has been talked about for quite a while. Yes, we live in a data-rich world; companies have built up databases that contain enormous customer records, both online and offline. But the challenge – and opportunity – is not in gathering the ‘big’ data, but rather in gathering the right data. It is critical to have an accurate, up-to-the-minute view of how consumers are making decisions and scoring your business. Here are five recommendations to help marketers make smarter, more informed decisions nowadays.
Study Cross-Device Behaviour. Behaviour tracking is well established on desktop computers. Capturing the mobile consumer, in cross-device behaviour (looking at activity on mobile devices and within apps), will emerge as an essential marketing tool. This will help you and your brand better understand digital behaviour and paths to purchase. In evaluating cross-device behaviour, you will gain greater insights into the ‘day in the life’ of consumer activities and spending, helping you speak to the customer, not the device.
Ask “But Why?” to Improve Customer Experience. The act of collecting data is no longer a challenge for marketers, with the availability of transactional data, passive data monitoring, and more. To optimise the quality of your research, be sure to place greater focus on asking “but why?” to gain deeper consumer insights that will improve customer experience. Answering the “why?” can help you pinpoint emotion, which “is the core driver of customer loyalty and spending”, according to Forrester Research.
Leverage Automated Concept Testing. Companies are launching new products more easily and quickly than ever. Predictive modeling is often not feasible in product development, so quick survey data can be the best option. To back up your marketing plan, leverage automated concept testing to understand the strength of branding, product, and advertising concepts. This will allow you and your brand to move from ideation to insight in just days or even hours, something traditional concept-testing methods can’t support.
Learn to Navigate the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things brings about its own host of marketing challenges. While the Internet of Things is increasing the amount of information marketers can use to analyse consumers, it greatly complicates the path to purchase and will necessitate a more developed approach to data analytics and consumer research. To build a successful marketing strategy, you must embrace this change instead of fighting it. Once the avalanche of Internet-of-Things data is mined for patterns, buying variances (as in lapsed buyers), and brand preferences, you will have a better understanding of consumer behaviour.
Address Your Business’ Need for Speed. Time is a scarce commodity for marketers, so speed is king. Viral trends emerge and then disappear quickly. News cycles are short. There is constant pressure to make quick decisions. That being said, these compressed timelines are no excuse to fly blind or to make decisions with outdated consumer data. Instead, look to leverage online surveys – with do-it-yourself tools – for data and insights that keep pace with fast-moving business.
Marketers will always struggle when looking into the best ways to understand their customers in a rapidly changing landscape. Leveraging these five action steps can provide marketers with the reliable, actionable, and high-quality customer data they need to discern the consumer quest to purchase, and to make better decisions in an uncertain, fluid world.