Out with the Old, In with the New …. or Maybe Not

Young woman holding two smart phones.

With innovation touting new capabilities each year to personalize marketing communications to target audiences while streamlining operations to gain efficiencies, you would think that marketing would be easier. On the contrary, it seems to be getting more and more difficult, as what was cutting-edge last year, is likely to be passé within at most a few years.

As the pace of change accelerates, FOMO – fear of missing out – increases the pressure on marketers to follow the trends and implement the newest marketing technologies. However, the “latest and greatest” may not be best for your customers or organization.

How are marketers to know the right technologies to pursue to prevent revenue loss and score customer experience wins? By ensuring the data and analytics foundation is in place to understand and address your customers’ needs. 

1. Prioritize Data Collection, Integration & Quality 

Data best practices help companies focus on what is meaningful and important to customers. When customers believe sharing their data will improve their experience, they are more willing to share.   

Considering the vast amount of data available, data output depends on the quality of the input. Data needs to be nurtured. It must be cleaned, transformed, and explored to become useful information that translates into meaningful insights. Bad data will produce results that are inaccurate, incomplete, biased, or confusing. 

For many companies, it is worth the expense to engage a partner specializing in data integration & data quality to optimize the data for both the business and the desired marketing technology. 

2. Segment Customers 

With the rise of data, companies know a lot more about customers. Marketers know that not all customers are the same – they have different needs, interests, behaviors, communication preferences, and value. Leveraging data to group customers based on common characteristics can help determine the personalized experiences that resonate with each segment. Most likely, they will involve different approaches. 

Understanding the unique qualities of each customer segment, marketers can define use cases, identify current gaps, and prioritize the investments that deliver the exceptional customer experiences that drive maximum profitability and growth. 

3. Define Use Cases

Having lots of data can be overwhelming. Use Cases will help determine the most valuable data points for the short and long-terms. Besides defining the requirements to achieving optimal solution functionality, Use Cases are important for prioritizing end goals.

Preparing Use Cases can be time-consuming. But if used properly in the development process, they are invaluable.

Ronald H. Coase stated, “If you torture data long enough, it will confess to anything.”  Often, if you have a pre-defined conclusion in mind, you will find data to support it. It’s very important to keep an open mind to eliminate background noise and potential bias that results in misleading conclusions. Let data patterns speak to you – and many times, you will be surprised what you find. Sometimes the “new” is the better approach; while, other times, the older, tried & true approaches are still working, making them worth the continued investment. 

Marketers know that their brand will not please all people all of the time. The same applies to new technologies and tactics. They work for some and not for others.  Making data and analytics the foundation of all decisions will help marketers know what customers want, and better evaluate if current trends make sense to enhance customer experience and optimize organizational efficiencies. 

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