When building a world-class product or enterprise-grade service, the primary metric for success is its total market share. In order to build a presence in the market, businesses must be able to successfully isolate their demographic, initiate trust, build loyalty and engage with these acquired customers constantly. 

Even though the milestones mentioned above may not coincide with one another directly, the ability to circumnavigate them successfully lies with understanding one specific facet of a product’s lifecycle: the customer. 

In the past, a customer was often understood from a generalized perspective, without taking micro-level details into account. With advancements in the latest technologies surrounding hand-held devices and social media, businesses were thrust into a new era of marketing and product advertising. However, as thousands of organisations began to vie for a single customer’s attention, companies needed to be able to position themselves in such a way that a customer feels compelled to engage with the brand constantly. This served the purpose of creating an affinity towards the brand, ultimately leading to brand loyalty. This was, however, easier said than done. 

Today, customers have a wide array of products and services to choose from, depending on scale, cost, design and other personal criteria. In a single industry alone, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of organisations that offer identical solutions. For instance, the Banking and Financial Services sector alone has around 21,500 institutions across the globe competing with each other! [1] 

Hence, any form of umbrella marketing technique that was successful in the past no longer works in the present scenario. Today, businesses need to establish a personal connection with each and every individual customer, in order to be successful. 

Traditional marketing practices have become obsolete since every customer tends to have unique needs. These diverse requirements make it expensive for traditional means of advertising to permeate the market effectively.

Hence, organisations turned their focus towards creating singular customer profiles, which contained a complete and well-rounded understanding of individual customers from their target demographic. By doing so, businesses have been able to pinpoint the needs, motivations and requirements of a single customer, and communicate personally with them. This form of real-time targeted marketing enables businesses to navigate different channels and penetrate the market successfully. 

Are customer profiles created purely to sell better? 

Not at all!

Customer profiles help businesses with acquiring, retaining and servicing the customer throughout their journey.

As customer acquisition costs keep rising, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to acquire new customers with minimal investments. Companies spend millions of dollars annually on Social Media Ads, Digital Advertising, Promotional Activities and other Above-the-Line (ATL) marketing techniques. However, these practices by nature aren’t suited to target individual customers. In order to increase the rate of conversion, Below-The-Line marketing methodologies use customer data profiles for success. By analysing minute details pertaining to a customer, enterprises can formulate the most ideal marketing content and focus on the most optimum channel for communication. 

With the help of TheDataTeam, a leading multinational bank increased its on-card transaction volume by 20% after dispatching personalised offers to potential customers in under 2 seconds!

With heavy competition breathing down their necks, organisations have had to raise the metaphorical ‘bar’ and provide customer experiences that are a notch above the rest. Even for something as simple as the ‘Mode of Communication’, lacklustre experiences can spell doom for an enterprise. Whether it’s for communicating grievances, problem resolution or general information, companies need to take into account the preferred channel of communication. Some customers prefer to communicate with brands via a single channel, and any deviation from this medium could lead to friction. In a study by Avochato, it is observed that over 63% of individuals have switched to companies that offer text messaging as a form of communication.[2].

Brand loyalty isn’t as prevalent, owing to the emergence of a new age of born-digital internet users. Building brand loyalty relies on focused marketing techniques, which helps businesses engage constantly with its customers. This results in people returning to the site/store, as well as repeat business. Over time, establishments have realised that 80% of their business comes from just 20% of their clients [3].  

96% of customers prefer to stick with brands and services that offer superior customer services [4]

Understanding the customer

The process of building a customer profile takes copious amounts of research, followed by deep analytics. It isn’t enough to just understand how the product can benefit a customer. Instead, the best place to start would be to discern if the customer even requires the solution!

In this era of cheap communication, it doesn’t shock experts to see people suspend services from a brand citing various concerns that cause friction. Rigorous upselling, persistent telemarketers, SMS blasts and round-the-clock robocalls have led to customer displeasure, resulting in a loss of business for many brands. 

Diverse industries and sectors rely on outdated marketing techniques, where sales representatives and telemarketers try to get creative in upselling a slew of products and offer bundles to existing customers. This has only backfired, to the extent that potential customers have disclosed that banks tend to offer car loans when they are about to buy a house and home loans when they’re about to purchase a brand new car.    

By offering exactly what a person needs, the chances of a conversion resulting in business are much higher.

What’s more, with the help of innovative technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), enterprises mine the requisite data to build more accurate customer profiles.

The need for a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

On average, there are around 10 different channels through which a company interacts with its customers. This includes Email, Website Forms, Social Media, ChatBots, Phone Calls, Live Chat, In-Store Data Collection, Post, Surveys and other forms of face-to-face interactions. Most of this data exists in independent data silos, which dampens the ability to extract meaningful business value from all of it. If all the data isn’t being considered, then the profile is incomplete.

An efficient and logical Customer Data Platform unifies the data from across all these channels (including existing CRM data, retail POS data etc.), to provide a single source of truth about all the touchpoints concerning the customer. By adding a layer of intelligent AI-based tools, the platform can deduce crucial insights that would have otherwise taken months of effort and domain knowledge to get right. These insights help in creating a more accurate customer profile.

A Customer Data Platform helps in creating an integrated and singular point-of-view for all consumer-related data. By leveraging this data, organisations can create specific marketing campaigns and sell more efficiently. Companies that routinely interact with their customers have outperformed their competitors by over 140% [5]

Since data alone is rarely enough to empower the business, it is necessary to extract intelligence from the data. Here’s where it is important to consider a Customer Data Platform that has the ability to comprehend behavioural patterns. 

Customer Data Platforms, like Cadenz by TheDataTeam, helps businesses create a 360 degree view of the customer by consolidating multiple data sources. We, at TheDataTeam, created Cadenz with a vision to become the world’s first and foremost Customer Intelligence Platform. What sets Cadenz apart from regular CDPs is that with the help of AI-based algorithms, enterprises are able to automate the Live Behavioural Intelligence of its customers by analysing real-time interactions, historic data, brand affinity, preferences and other relevant information.

About the Author:

Nikhil Menon is a B2B Content Developer, who currently works for TheDataTeam in Bengaluru. Specializing in topics surrounding AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain (LBT) and Innovative Tech, Nikhil has worked with Fortune 500s, SMEs and Government bodies. As a speaker who has addressed professionals and students, In his free time, you’ll find him watching historical documentaries.

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