Text is the new gold in data-driven marketing

Daniel Aunvig writes that text captured from contact centre conversations can drive further precision and even develop new use cases to an organisation’s analytics capabilities.

Organisations that are serious about using their data for insights to competitive advantage have long been analysing all their structured transactional data to predict future customer behaviour. Analytics has helped them anticipate their customers’ next purchases, their profitability and the likelihood of churn, just to name a few benefits.

As a continuing very valuable exercise this has been helping marketers better refine their audiences, keep communications tightly relevant and improve conversion rates. Metaphorically, accumulated transactional customer data has been the marketer’s ‘gold mine’.

And just as real life gold miners are always exploring for new veins branching off the mother lode, so marketers mining their customer data must take advantage of new sources of insight for additional riches. Text-based customer information is one of those new sources that when embedded into the traditional information infrastructure can help them learn more about their category, their products, their competitors and their customers and prospects.

Some of these new data input will drive further precision in current analytics practices, while others will add completely new use cases to the data-driven marketer’s toolbox. Let me highlight a couple of examples in both these areas.

Add value to your current analytics practices

Add text analytics classifications of call centre outcomes to existing churn models. Trials of this initiative indicate it can improve the accuracy of retention understanding by 15 to 20%.

Tap into real conversations to improve measuring performance indicators of things like ‘share of voice’ and ‘brand awareness’. Whereas a focus group measure is limited in reach and can be biased, actual conversations can reveal how your brand and products are seen by customers to stack up against those of your competitors

Develop new use cases

Structurally nurture customer-driven innovation. Listening to how customers and prospects are taking about their needs as well as product features can enable organisations to drive a new level of customer centricity in their innovation efforts.

To ensure intelligent routing and customer experience management, make sure you can structurally ‘listen’ to calls, inbound customer emails and survey responses. Customer service levels are significantly improved when routing and internal alerting is efficient and degrees of urgency are appropriate

The benefits can extend well beyond smarter marketing and better customer service. Text can be a rich source of information if the organisation is also detecting for suspected fraud or pondering supply chain efficiencies. These are just two examples of the value of text beyond marketing but the opportunities are vast. And while most of this information is already held within the enterprise, the shortcoming, of course, is that many organisations don’t yet have the right tools to analyse and drive insights from it.

I expressed this view in my earlier post on data-driven empathy when I wrote: “Whether it is search information from your website, free text forms in surveys, social media posts, call centre notes or voice to text data – this will be your future breakthrough source of information for getting the R back into the CRM equation.”

I hope this post has been a useful elaboration of the point.



Daniel Aunvig
BY Daniel Aunvig ON 24 November 2015
Daniel Aunvig is head of customer intelligence for SAS.