In recent years, marketers have discovered the benefits of providing compelling experiences to engage customers. To accomplish their goals, an increasing number of marketing professionals are embracing big data to help them improve customer satisfaction and increase market shares through superior customer engagement strategies. The proliferation of big data has enabled marketers to gain insights into why customers behave as they do — whether the behavior is positive or negative.
How Big Data Helps Marketers Improve Strategies
Aggregated views do not provide details about individual customers. Furthermore, behavioral changes can take a long time to appear in consolidated reports. Wise utilization of big data can give marketers a detailed view of how each customer is behaving.
- Marketers can see when every customer performs an action for the first time or the last time. Knowing when the customer begins to do something less frequently or more frequently gives marketers insights into what is normal behavior for the individual.
- Understanding a customer's normal behavior can help marketers develop campaigns that are based on each customer's lifestyle rather than demographics.
- Big data can help marketers become more customer-centric. Faster reactions to what customers need and want can lead to improved engagement as well as smarter campaigns.
- The lines of communication can be improved. Today's customers want an acceptable amount of interaction with their favorite brands. However, they want relevant, customized communications that can only be provided if marketers truly know their customers. Big data can provide the insights needed to nurture relationships.
How Real Companies Are Using Big Data
Real companies are harnessing the power of big data to help them engage and retain their customers. However, the strategies used vary widely, proving that big data can provide a wide variety of information.
- Spectrum, Cox and other cable companies have been experiencing some hard times in recent years. Online services such as Netflix and Hulu have taken a bite out of the profitability of traditional cable television providers. Although the companies do not usually monitor what individual customers watch, they place a great deal of emphasis on aggregate data. They track customer engagement statistics, including frequency of use, times of peak usage and the effect of bandwidth. Public data, including real estate records and voter registration records, help provide correlations with local viewing habits that allow marketers to launch targeted, multichannel campaigns.
- GameStop uses data from its loyalty programs to gain insight into each customer's engagement preferences, past purchases and interests. This allows the company to create individualized shopping experiences, offer product recommendations and even improve in-store traffic flows.
- Burberry has leveraged big data to create showrooms that are digitally integrated. Staff members can use tablets to make recommendations, offer personalized suggestions and even greet customers by name. Interestingly, Burberry has been able to amass an enormous amount of data by simply asking. The company has an online program called Customer 360 that invites customers to share their preferences, buying history and fashion phobias in exchange for an improved in-store experience.
Big Data Is Still Evolving
Every day, marketers are discovering new ways to use big data. Some companies are using big data to help them monitor customer sentiment, enhance their collaborations with influencers, create seamless omnichannel experiences and manage communications on the social media sites. Big data can give marketers the information they need to engage their customers at the right time, on the right channel and in the right manner. Every interaction that a customer has with a brand — in the store, on the website, through a mobile app, on a social platform or on the telephone — gives marketers another opportunity to collect the data needed to understand the customer's behavior and develop a better way to engage him or her.