Right about now, “Big Data” has flown over the top of Gartner’s Hype cycle -- passing over the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” and has dived deep into the “Trough of Disillusionment.” Like every super-hyped technology, Big Data’s corporate value has been over-speculated, and its practical application has been under-delivered.
For the marketers we work with, it’s much more important to understand the right data, the Smart Data that can actually help marketers acquire new customers faster and keep customers longer. Some of this data we do capture from digital sources, other data we create with predictive analytics, and still other data we help clients collect one-on-one when they interact with their customers.
What kind of data can help drive speed to revenue? Let’s use an example from Affinity and Partner Marketing.
Demographic and Lifestyle Data: Your partners rarely invest in adding third party data to their own customers/members records – they are more concerned with running their association or building their donor base. But you can append this critical information that can help you decide who to target with your product messages. You might invest in your partnership by expanding the licensing arrangement for data enhancement and sharing the demographic data back to your partners.
Acquisition Model Scores: Build a predictive model that might use dozens of other bits of data to predict who’s likely to be your next best customer. Instead of targeting every member or customer of your partner’s organization, just reach out to those likely to buy. You’ll deliver the same revenue stream to your partner, while saving your budget to build out the relationship with other new partners.
Retention Model Scores: While most partner and affinity marketers are most concerned with new customer acquisition, using a predictive model to intercept customers who are likely to attrite is an extremely cost-effective strategy to build your book of business.
Engagement Scores: Bringing every customer interaction data point into the marketing mix can be daunting and complicated – but certain digital interactions are important to keep track of and respond to. An engagement score is a way to combine several interaction points and gauge how active your relationship is with an individual consumer. A highly engaged customers will typically buy more and stick around longer.
B2B Partner Data: For marketers selling through partners, some key data elements are needed to kick off the relationship and make it run smoothly. Who are the decision makers and are they working with a competitor now? When is their contract up so you can be there to offer your solutions? Do they sell products like yours to their customers members now? Some of these data elements can be purchased from the legions of data providers, but oftentimes you’ll need to put someone (or hire someone) to get on the phone and track down the decision makers and ask the questions. This is the ultimate “enhancement data” that you invest in collecting yourself if it’s not available in the data marketplace.
With all the talk about Big Data it’s hard not to feel you’re behind in “figuring it out.” But by focusing on the selected “Smart Data” you can use to get to results now-- you’ll be well down the path to more sophisticated data-driven marketing. And much of this Smart Data you can collect, create or purchase to move your organization forward rather than getting mired in the “Trough of Disillusionment”.
For more ideas about how to leverage your customer data, be sure to download our new ebook “100 Ways To Do More With Your Data”.
 (Gartner, Inc, 2014)