Are You Listening to What Your Customers Are Telling You? on bdex.com

Are You Listening to What Your Customers Are Telling You?

Data is important to your marketing efforts, but personalization matters more

Over the last several years, if one thing has dominated business and marketing more than anything else, it’s data. Companies are constantly striving to get it and use it to better attract customers. However, while data can offer great insight into buying behavior, a recent survey of marketing leaders found that for many businesses, consumers are just being turned into numbers.

According to the report, 41 percent of respondents said it was a challenge focusing on creating and fostering customer relationships instead of marketing campaigns. In addition, about 30 percent said they often had a tough time remembering that they were trying to target actual human beings. Even more troubling is the fact that, of the 152 senior marketing executives polled, zero felt they were ready to use new points of intelligence to offer customers a better experience or to boost brand engagement.

“Somewhere in our adoption of data, technology and process, the customer and the very real, human and fragile relationships that marketers have worked so hard to build have been lost, giving way to settling for assumptions about broad personas and an almost obsessive focus on campaign performance,” says Liz Miller. Miller is the SVP of marketing with the CMO Council, the company that produced the report along with Harte Hanks.

Bant Breen of Harte Hanks believes organizations have no excuse for not understanding their customers and what they want.

“In every point of connection, our customers leave small data clues behind that can enrich our current profiles and give brands the insights needed to craft the right combination of message, channel, and timing,” Breen said. “Customers will always tell us what they need. The real question is: Are we listening?”

It’s not just about data; it’s about the right data

That “Are we listening?” question from Breen gets to the heart of the matter. It’s not good enough anymore to know what a customer bought; companies need to also know what they’re looking to buy, and even what they’re planning to buy right now. How can they do this? By targeting the right people so they can reach them on a personal level.

Developing human connectivity with your customers

While you probably have an idea of the type of people who would be interested in your products or services, if this doesn’t involve much more than their gender and age range, it’s time to dig much deeper. With more than 5,500 data categories and over a trillion data points, businesses can use BDEX’s Data Exchange Platform to find a specific group of consumers to target. They can also use the up-to-the-minute real-time data we collect.

We get this information from point-of-sale systems, geofencing, and by seeing what people recently bought online and what they are currently thinking about buying. And with cross-device matching through our comprehensive identity graph, we can also understand customer behaviors and intents no matter which devices they use or how often they switch from one to another.

Once a company knows who their ideal customers are and where and when to reach them, suddenly it’s like they’ve been handed the keys to the kingdom. Now they can create personalized marketing messages based on someone’s behavior. This could include sending them a coupon code for the type of product they’re looking for, offering complementary items for something recently bought, or encouraging them to visit a store when they know they are nearby.

While data is now essential for marketing purposes, it’s not the information itself that is so important; it’s how companies use it to build relationships with their customers. If you’re having trouble developing that kind of human connectivity, get in touch with BDEX by filling out our online contact form.