To understand performance and drivers of growth, businesses must consider the strengths and weaknesses of different data sources. While sales data provides insights into performance, additional data like demographic and transaction data helps understand who customers are and their past behaviour. But for categories with infrequent purchases, engagement data (web and CRM) is crucial to predict potential behaviour. Anything from your database is limited to current customers, and ignores potential customers.
Primary research is effective for understanding the attitudes and motivations behind customers and prospects – the WHY – and an opportunity to gauge reactions to potential future value propositions. However, primary research is limited to claimed information and may not directly apply to individual customers in the database.
With advances in AI, data from online reviews and social media comments is very valuable for market insights and competitor benchmarks in the consumer’s own language.
To gain a competitive edge and be customer-centric, you should aim for a 360-degree view of your customers by gathering comprehensive data on the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY. A 360-degree customer view provides organisations with a holistic understanding of their customers, their preferences, and their behaviours.
Combining data sources allows for calibrating future plans with real-world historical data, to improve decision-making on metrics that count. Corroborating data sources and adding different lenses often provides models with higher accuracy, providing additional confidence. But ultimately, if you want to target the right customers with the right message at the right time, you need to look beyond what customers have previously done with you, and understand why. This deeper understanding helps you to improve customer experiences and increase loyalty.
Personalisation for driving engagement
Combining data sources for a 360-degree view also enables cross functional business activities. Hybrid segmentations, created from various sources, provide comprehensive consumer insights for strategic growth and are tagged onto customer databases to support segment related activities across multiple business areas.
This itself creates a unifying consumer framework from combined data. Fostering a common goal for marketing, eCRM, business intelligence, insight managers, innovation teams and service teams across multiple customer touch points.
A unified framework (built from multiple sources) provides many additional activation possibilities to connect with customers in better ways, and delivers an impressive ROI. You can learn more in our ebook Introduction to Hybrid Segmentation.