From taking an Uber to office, to ordering grocery online, paying utility bills, capturing a picture of the whiteboard after that strategic discussion, and sharing it with the team on WhatsApp, all our day to day actions contribute to the exponential growth in the volume of data generated by us each day. Overwhelmed by this enormous volume of data at their disposal, businesses that were previously focused only on capturing and acquiring data about their consumers are today faced with a new challenge of making sense of data. Not all data is relevant. Moreover, data is complex and to derive any useful insight from it you require advanced analytics capabilities. Amidst all this complexity stands today’s marketer – set out to conquer the world.
Marketing Literally Lives on Data
However complex, or dirty – data is a necessity for marketing to deliver results. Over the past couple of years, the role of marketing has evolved drastically. This is a direct consequence of the digital revolution and its impact on the buying cycle of the digitally savvy modern day consumer. Research suggests that today nearly 57% of the buying cycle is already complete by the time vendors come to play. Further, it’s interesting to note that almost 75% of buyers use social media to make buying decisions. Really? What does that imply? To me it represents increased onus on marketing to make sales happen. And, to live up to the great expectations that the business has from them, marketers need to uncover the power of data. A solid data strategy buttressed by an effective analytics engine can enable marketers to deliver personalized customer experiences at every stage of the customer journey. This directly translates into better quality and bigger sales pipelines.
Identifying Your Ideal Customer Profile
Buyers’ digital footprints are fairly indicative of their preferences, behaviors, demographics, and other characteristics. From the search terms we use, to the content we consume, the brands we interact with, or the places we frequent – everything speaks something about us. This data can form the basis for marketers to divide their total addressable market into segments with identifiable common needs and priorities. The next step is to define unique personas that represent each of these segments. And the final step in the segmentation process is to identify your ideal customer profile or the needy niche that has an immediate requirement or unresolved problem that you can address. This process might even help marketers discover segments that might perfectly fit their ideal customer profile, but have never been exposed to their products in the past.
Get Your Data Strategy Right
Coming back to where we started – while data is the lifeblood for marketing, ultimately it’s the marketer’s ability to derive actionable insights from the data deluge, that defines the success of any business operating in this digital age. As such it’s important for marketers to invest in implementing the right tools that can slice and dice every bit of data input to deliver market intelligence. An even better option is to rely on credible market intelligence sources to deliver extremely targeted, relevant, and accurate insights for us to leverage. Further, as marketers we need to understand that our ideal data strategy must not be limited to just data acquisition. That’s only the first step. Rather, our data strategy must comprise of data acquisition, data nurturing, data enrichment, continuous data health check, and regular data cleaning. If your data strategy is missing any of these key elements, it’s time to revisit it and set things right.