CRM Tips: 6 Awesome Ways to Turn Customer Data into Competitive Advantage

6 Awesome Ways to Turn Customer Data into Competitive Advantage
Does your company…

Offer insightful whitepapers, sizzling videos, free demos, in exchange of email address and maybe, phone numbers? Track customer buying behavior, call logs and speech insights…all for knowing what your customer really desires?

If you are among the 65% businesses that consistently collect big data, then the answer will be yes.

But, what next?

‘Big Data’ is now the new ‘Big Star’ in ‘Digital Town’. However, it will remain a dumb data dump, unless used to aid your business growth and make your competition ‘bite the dust’.

Here are six ways to make customer data, your biggest competitive strength.
#1 Sterilize big data
Doctors sterilize their instruments to remove unwanted germs and foreign bodies, in order avoid infections and other impediments. Similarly, you need to sterilize your mounds of raw data (customer information) in order to weed out the chaff. It also helps to narrow your focus on only relevant information.

The sources from which you gather your customer’s data such as p-o-s, website, inbound calls etc play an important role. Automating junk identification with parameters like

  • Having corporate domain instead of public ones.
  • Following proper naming standards
  • Country specific & valid contact number etc.

helps you to start initial screening and save time. 

Always remember that with limited filters, you will get limited insights. Apart from sources, you can effectively use the following sample filters

  • Time line as to when the contact was made/created
  • online mentions on various social media platforms
  • Geography
#2 Identify business goals
You can use customer information to define your business goals that are adaptable and dynamic. From the insights gleaned from point #1, you identify current trends, preferences etc. This will give you a first mover advantage when it comes to dealing with competition. Identifying and associating with customer journeys, by following the below steps, will be easier with the help of customer data.
  • Data aggregation from multiple sources. Example: social interactions. 
  • Storing and analyzing interactions from customer profiles in CRM, quickly accessible in the event of launching interactive campaigns.
  • Integration of analytics to derive intelligence. 
  • Involving customer segmentation to devise data strategy to formulate business decisions.
  • Creation of business rules for responses via campaigns, channels etc (crucial for B2B marketing).
With the wide array of sources like web, social, mobile, email, purchase history, sales interaction history etc, it becomes easier to map out customer needs with the business goals. You can also identify new channels and targeting models to accomplish your business goals, be it increasing customer satisfaction or new acquisition. Here are few samples:

A. On boarding
New users can be sent an automated response welcoming them with login details and further steps. Give additional information about features (both existing and new) can help boost adoption rates.

B.Drip campaigns
Information about your product given in measured doses will help in mind recall. You can record downloads, registrations, conversion rates, when you include your landing page into CRM software.

C. Discounts
Discounted Promotions are one of the trusted tools utilized by markets to acquire new customers.

You can apply the information gained from these methods for future campaigns as well.

#3 Personalize your marketing
Marketing today is all about establishing a personal connect with your customer. And this is where, customer data comes in handy. Armed with your customer’s preferences, you can design campaigns inclusive of all touch points like SMS, email, landing pages, p-o-s etc. You can also segment customer profiles based on...
  • Job title
  • Event attendance
  • Webinar attendance
  • Current product exposure
  • Business size
Such segmentation will allow assigning relevant leads to the right resources. You can even customize message templates with the information derived from such data.  It is said that…
However, keep in mind to offer only products that are relevant. Offering discounts on a product already bought, will irritate your customer.

#4 Employ marketing automation
Marketing automation that is powered by behavioral analytic will aid you in increasing conversions. The target audience will be able to connect more to your campaigns and will readily want your products. You can develop this combination of customer data and automation, to be a distinct competitive advantage.

Additionally, you can use customer data to create a centralized repository that keeps track of...
  • Subscriptions
  • New accounts
  • Form submissions
  • Email conversions
  • Campaign analytics
  • Purchases
  • Returns etc.
Such centralized repositories can be your single point command center (star trek anyone?), from where you can execute customize multi-wave campaigns. A good CRM solution will amply aid  your execution.

Customer data can be helpful even in automating the following marketing tools
On-site promotions

  • Personalized content creation
  • Enable retargeting in ad words campaigns
  • Landing pages
  • Surveys
  • Email marketing and so on.
#5 Deal threats with trends
With online portals mushrooming in every industry, show-rooming i.e. customer’s habit of comparing products before zooming to the cheapest one, is globally hurting businesses. It is just one of the myriad threats that your company faces on a regular basis. How to deal with it? Well, we won’t recommend what a Melbourne business did.
Source: econsultancy.com
More that identifying threats, acceptance that such a threat is part of business is the first step. Next, if you have a robust mechanism to collect data, you are way ahead of your peers. With the help of analytics, you can identify other triggers, apart from price points, like unique product offerings, combo schemes, free value added services etc. that will stand apart from the competition. This will help you to attract customers and spread positive reviews.  Customer data will also help you in identifying whether your differentiating factors are really relevant or not.

#6 Present digital offerings with insights
To elaborate this point, let us illustrate how our major banking client utilizes their customer data. One of the largest private banks in the Asia-Pacific region, they had identified digital aggregators and payment players, as disruptors early on. They were also aware of the one card that would trump all threats: customer information, gleaned from banking profiles. With the help of customer data, they offered customized products on their portals, that will connect with the target audience and increase traffic, conversions etc,. Going a step further, they developed a business model involving their competition (a.k.a aggregators) to take advantage of their strength and offer custom products/services digitally. 

You can also optimize other digital contact points like help desk, live chats, notifications etc (enabled with CRM of course!) with the help of customer data.

A CRM solution can help you utilize the power of parameters, analytics, automation and digital innovation to stay miles ahead of your competition. Use the above six ways as a blue print to experiment what works best for you!

What other ways do you think customer data can be turned into a competitive advantage? Share with us!
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