21 May 2014
Marketers are up to their necks with information about their customers, and they don’t know what to do about it.
According to a recent study by IBM, 82% of CMOs feel underprepared to deal with the data explosion. This is more than a few years ago when 71% responded that way in 2011. The study also shows that this lack of preparation coincides with a time when more CEOs (63%) are involved with business strategy development. To maximize their success with marketing, and in the boardroom, CMOs need to get a handle on that data.
The top 30% of CMOs are indeed reasonably prepared for the data explosion, and provide a good example to follow. Top marketers use advanced predictive analytics to gain insight into their customers, and they use this insight to build rewarding customer experiences. A top CMO’s enterprise is more likely to be fully integrated with data shared across channels. And they’re more prepared to handle the growing segment of traffic from mobile devices.
The report defines the top CMOs by their deep understanding of customers, which makes them 60% more likely to see greater financial success. Unfortunately, the majority of CMOs are not using advanced analytics for customer insight, which is the key to further targeting.
Even though CMOs may be unprepared, they still know what they want. 94% do want advanced analytics and predictive technology. And 89% want customer relationship management.
Predictive analytics and CRM integration are important for gaining insight into your customers through the capture and assessment of data. Top marketers use predictive analysis to deliver a personalized online experience with product recommendations and other suggestions. Personalization increases the chance that a given prospect finds the content that fits their interests.
Here’s how personalization works: When a visitor first arrives at your website, your automated marketing solution begins tracking their behavior. First, you identify whether they came from an ad or a link or a search engine (and which one). Next, you look at what their actions are. What pages are they scouring? What products? Then on the backend, you use this data to form a profile of this potential customer, which is used to suggest the most relevant content available.
By increasing the chance that the content appeals to your prospects, you increase their chance of conversion, which could be as simple as filling out a lead form or even completing a purchase. You also want to use the data you’ve gathered, in addition to any past information that your visitors have submitted, for an even fuller view of your customer and for further analysis, such as lead scoring. This past data is stored in your Customer Relationship Management system.
You probably have an existing CRM that is the center for all your customer data. Integration gets your CRM and e-commerce solution and Content Management System all talking to each other, and it’s the cornerstone of a successful customer-centric data plan. You then use the data in your CRM for analysis and action, which includes delivering personalization and self-service options like login accounts, instant order histories, and more.
Knowledge is power, which means data is power. Integrating your CRM and using predictive analysis gives CMOs and marketers more power for advance predictive analysis and marketing automation. All this data helps form a more complete view of your customers, and we know from the research that marketers that understand their customers are more successful.