Marketers must go big on data to compete on customer experience

Australian marketers are failing to make the most of big data opportunities, writes Alec Gardner.

alec-gardnerAustralian organisations are not fully leveraging big data insights despite a growing understanding of the value of data analysis, according to the Teradata Data Analysis Index 2015. For marketers, this can mean missing opportunities to focus on differentiated customer-centric operations with personalised marketing campaigns and tailored offers to deliver a superior customer experience.

Teradata’s recent Data Analysis Index provides a snapshot of how Australian companies approach data collection, analysis and use. It reveals that organisations are using insights derived from data mostly to improve customer-facing elements of the business such as customer service issues and complaints.

Collect, analyse and integrate data for a holistic view of customer experience  

Customer experience should be approached as the sum of interactions a consumer has with a brand over the total course of their relationship. Gartner predicts that by next year, nine out of 10 companies hope to compete primarily on the quality of their customer experience. Analysing interactions is important as it can help organisations map customer behaviour and expectations to further improve their experience.

Organisations should collect and analyse data relating to customers online and offline, and integrate internal insights to gain holistic, accurate understandings of each customer’s needs. This lets marketers develop more effective personalised campaigns and targeted offers. For example, data analysis can make it clear to marketers which customers need a special offer or contact to be convinced to make the purchase. This is more cost-effective than extending the offer to customers who would already have made the purchase at the standard price. Teradata’s data driven marketing survey found that only 18% of marketers had a single view of customers and the Data Analysis Index shows the biggest obstacle to capturing data remains siloed data sets.

Use data insights to improve efficiencies

Improving the customer experience is only part of the potential big data offers. Marketers should also turn to data to find ways to cut unnecessary costs and processes, giving them more budget for initiatives. Insights gained from data analysis can also help change or improve marketing campaigns and offers.

Encouragingly, spending on data and information management solutions looks set to increase in the near-term. The funds spent on implementing or upgrading data and information management solutions are likely to yield a valuable return, with more than half of the organisations surveyed considering creating new products or services based on the data they gather.

Boost strategy with improved reliability of data

Marketers must take advantage of their organisations’ increasing focus on data management and make big data analysis an integral part of their day-to-day practice. The resulting insights are more likely to be statistically valid because the results are not based on the solicited input of a few people, but rather the actual behaviours and history of many people. By using these insights to develop the most targeted, personalised campaigns possible, organisations can sharpen their competitive edge and gain additional market share.

Furthermore, marketers need to take greater ownership of the data spend to become data driven. Despite many predictions to the contrary, the CMO or marketing team was found to own the budget for data analytics projects in just 8% of the organisations surveyed. As almost half of the organisations surveyed said they are not using insights to improve customer loyalty and to optimise the mix of marketing initiatives, a greater involvement of the marketing team in data analytics project budgets could help to address this shortfall.

The wrap

In an age of personalised customer engagement, marketing teams can no longer rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, they must become data driven, compete on customer experience and leverage the abundant data available to develop increasingly personalised campaigns that are more likely to deliver strong results.

 

Alec Gardner is general manager, advanced analytics, ANZ at Teradata.