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How to use customer data to drive your business
The COVID-19 pandemic drove an increase in consumers turning to e-commerce to meet their needs. With this increase, restaurants, retailers, and convenience stores find themselves with more customer data than ever and may be struggling with how to best use it to improve customer experiences.
We sat down with Krista Park, Director, Customer Experience & Analytics at Mobiquity, to ask about how companies are using data and analytics and why more organizations should invest in this area, especially as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.
What is the importance of data and analytics, especially right now amidst a global pandemic?
Krista: In the midst of COVID-19, businesses have been forced to get even smarter about how they’re engaging with their customers – and with limited budgets. The good news is that the data that comes from digital tools can help companies make the most of their marketing dollars. Be sure you’re reaching each customer with the offering most likely to create a positive experience (a mobile app, good website/ecommerce experience, contactless payment ability, etc.) and you’ll experience increased loyalty and ROI as a result.
The first step is to create a data strategy that helps you define the ways you will collect, analyze, and use data to drive the best outcomes. Working with a good data strategy/data analytics team can make a big difference and help you achieve your goals.
Why should companies be investing in data and analytics? What benefits will it offer them?
Krista: While there is an upfront cost to get the unique datasets that you need, the insights you get in return are priceless. For starters, you can instantly begin optimizing your marketing dollars. Creating a digital product or solution is only half of the process – you need to make them profitable and work toward consumer adoption. This is where marketing comes into play. But understanding which marketing tactics are working on various platforms is where data and analytics – plus a really good data scientist/analyst – can help you optimize your investments. Analytics can also provide data that helps you further engage and maintain those consumers.
But data is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve seen companies that have elevated their program with artificial intelligence and machine learning, personalization, and rewards and loyalty programs, and as a result they have experienced growth in customer loyalty. This has provided more sophisticated data, leading to a cycle of continuous improvement. The analytics then become predictive which enable you to do more for your customers on an ongoing, long-term basis.
It comes down to transforming from a business-focused mindset to a customer-centric one. The benefit of investing in data and analytics is that you ultimately improve your business model faster and with far more efficacy because you are so focused on the customer. It’s a win for everyone.
How can AI play a role in developing better relationships between a brand and its customers?
Krista: This is a great question because AI definitely has a role to play in analytics. As the AI gets smarter, more customer data becomes available over an extended period of time which gives data scientists more information to analyze. Plus, AI allows us to combine data from a variety of sources for a 360 degree view of the customer journey.
For example, in retail, we can see what customers buy in the store, how they use their rewards, how often they visit, etc. With AI, we don’t need to manually stitch the data together. The tools automate it for us. This influx of information provides a better, more holistic picture of your customers and how they are leveraging your digital experiences, enabling you to make the right updates and changes based on their needs.
This kind of business intelligence closes the gap between a brand and its customers, making businesses more successful and customers happier. But it’s not an exact science. You will need experts in data analytics/data science to bring in the human element that the AI/ML cannot see.
Why is it important to have a good partner analyzing your data?
Krista: With data, insights are not automatic. It can be easy to create a dashboard or report but the value comes when we find out what the data means and how we can take action on it. There are plenty of tools that can tell you that your users increased 10% last month, but that doesn’t tell you why or how. A good digital consultancy partner can unearth those insights for you. Making recommendations that turn those insights into frameworks and initiatives that drive the business forward is where the real advantage of analytics comes into play. And a customer analytics consulting partner can unlock these insights for you.
At Mobiquity, our data analysts have a variety of comparable client experiences that we can pull from to see what businesses are doing. This, paired with our deep industry knowledge, is where our clients get the most benefit. We start by helping you achieve parity, but ultimately we lead you on the path to exceeding your competition. Plus, we’re not tied down to a particular platform or tool. We can work with your preferred platforms and create the dashboards that are most relevant to your business.
Ready to take your data strategy and analytics program to the next level? Mobiquity is your customer analytics consulting partner.
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