ecently I was in Kariba where I was speaking at the Marketers Association Zimbabwe 2015 Winter School on the subject of social media, how to effectively harness these platforms to derive maximum utility and achieve bottom line impact. The topical issues I shared during these sessions inspired me to write this article on “how much do you know about your customer”. During the sessions I asked the participants a similar question and got some very intriguing responses on how much they knew about their clients, customers and consumer segments.
The emergence of digital marketing platforms, I believe has simplified and brought robust means of ascertaining and predicting customer behaviour with surgical accuracy. Big companies namely Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc are all driven by data, a subject some affectionately call Big Data or Data Driven Marketing where they collect visitor/user data and then sell it to advertisers. In fact, the future of all tech companies rests in their ability to gather, collect, analyse and interpret visitor/user data into intelligence to further improve their product offer and thus enhance user experience. Facebook is constantly running Newsfeed questionnaires to garner market feedback on their experience so as they stay ahead of competition and also provide a unique rich user experience. All these tools and tactics gravitate back to my question on customer data, how much do you know about your customers?
I’m eternally convinced that the success and effectiveness of any marketing initiative is intrinsically linked and directly proportional to how much you’ve tailored your initiatives to your target audience. What are the consumer insights around your brand? do you understand your customer? do you know what makes them behave in the way they do? do you know where they stay, where they spend their time? etc these are all vital questions which every marketer needs to be equipped with. The premise is that if you know them intimately then you can design and structure your marketing initiatives accordingly.
Understanding your customer, the consumer insight hedges you from shooting in the dark, the machine approach where you shoot hoping to hit an unspecified target. One question I got from my presentation was on how do I collect and gather customer data, and what I shared was very simplistic! What are your customer touch points? where you interface with the customer is where you need to start from! If your customers walk in, when they purchase ask them for their email address, their phone number, their location etc. Most of the time I’ve realised we have so much customer data but not we are sitting on it. The customer records are there, their usage pattern is there but we are not converting it into business intelligence.
When you know your customer, you’ve armed your brand with business and customer intelligence and thus you become more strategic in your approach. Never will you continue chasing shadows, shooting in dark places but you’re able to develop efficacious marketing initiatives. The questions I leave with you now are;
- How much do you know about your customers?
- Do you know where they stay?
- Do you know their online behaviour?
- What are the consumer insights around your brand?
If you’ve answers to all these, then marketing becomes simplified. This is a broad subject I will continue to explore in greater detail going forward on this platform, and share on how you can extract customer data and convert it into business intelligence. The key take out today is, know your customer, intimately!