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How Retail Companies Are Harnessing Customer Data For Growth

customer data collaboration

After a turbulent period of economic uncertainty, retail companies need ways to grow more than ever. As a result, many are turning to customer data to inform their business decision-making. 

Customer data comes in many forms, from demographic to behavioral and attitudinal data. Any one piece of customer data alone isn’t overly helpful, but combined, large sets of this data can be hugely impactful. Retail companies can use this data to find key insights, trends, and opportunities. Then, they can take action on this information and use those actions to fuel their businesses. 

Any retail business not collecting and analyzing customer data is missing out on a valuable opportunity. 

The Benefits Of Customer Data-Driven Marketing

Using customer data to inform your marketing decisions can have several major benefits, including the following:

More Targeted Marketing Campaigns

Broad, sweeping marketing campaigns will likely soon become a thing of the past. Instead, marketers today tend to focus on more targeted campaigns that are tailored to specific customer segments. By tailoring these campaigns to the needs or behaviors of certain groups of customers, marketers can achieve better results for their investment. 

The key to targeted marketing campaigns is customer data. Marketers take large customer data sets and use that information to create segments. For example, they may group customers by age or geographic region, status as a new or returning customer, etc. Knowing that the customers in these groups share a certain quality makes it easier to market effectively to them. This way, you won’t waste your efforts trying to appeal to everyone all at one time. 

Gain and Retain Customers Through Personalization

Each one of your customers is an individual with their own needs and preferences. You can ignore this fact and treat them all the same, but that’s not nearly as effective as personalizing. Customers love personalized experiences from brands. Using customer data is the way to deliver that. 

For example, customers frequently add products to their carts while online shopping, and then don’t complete that purchase. With data-driven marketing, you can send personalized messages reminding them of their abandoned carts. Compared to generic marketing messages, this personalization is much more likely to strike a chord with the customer. 

You can even use customer data to personalize things like the channel through which you contact each customer. Some customers respond best to marketing emails, others to text or online ads. Rather than using each channel for every customer, you can tailor your efforts to the best channel for your customers. 

A Better Ability to Predict What Will Work and What Won’t

There’s an element of guess and check to marketing, even for experienced, skilled marketing teams. Sometimes, you try a marketing strategy or effort and wait for the results to determine whether you should continue. The downside of this approach is that ineffective marketing campaigns are a drain on your resources—both in terms of time and money. 

Using this data-driven marketing strategy can eliminate some unnecessary and costly guesswork. Looking through your customer data will give you a better idea of what consumers respond to, what interests them, and what campaigns might be most effective. You’ll still need to fine-tune things, but having that customer data will give you a leg up. You won’t be flying blind as you’re putting together your marketing efforts. 

Examples Of Customer Data Marketing

Some companies have famously applied customer data in their marketing efforts to great success. Here are a few examples:

Starbucks

Starbucks didn’t become a massive success without some very clever marketing efforts. The company uses customer data that it collects through its rewards program, among other sources, to improve its marketing. 

With the rewards program data, the Starbucks team knows what customers buy and other details about their spending habits. The company uses that data to make personal product recommendations to customers, increasing the likelihood they’ll try those products. Starbucks also uses this data to identify customers that haven’t visited a store recently. Then, they’ll send personalized promotions and discounts to those customers to attempt to get them back to Starbucks. 

Airbnb

This online homestay rental marketplace has experienced tremendous growth since its founding. Though some of that success is down to having a clever idea at the right time, a lot has to do with the company’s customer data marketing efforts. Data science is central to Airbnb’s work across departments, including marketing. 

The team at Airbnb looks at customer data to determine what customers want, what stands out to them, and what they respond to. All of this information is invaluable for marketing. Once they collect the data, the team uses these insights to develop more effective, data-driven marketing campaigns. 

Kroger

Grocery store giant Kroger also uses customer data for marketing purposes — in one key way. Like many other grocery stores, the company sends out mailers containing coupons. For many years, though, Kroger has tailored its coupon mailers to the shopping habits of each household recipient. In other words, the Kroger marketing team uses data about customers’ purchases to send them marketing materials they’re more likely to respond to. 

When online shopping and digital coupons, Kroger adapted this strategy while still relying on customer data. Now, Kroger is able to customize prices with mobile app offers to customers. These measures using customer data keep Kroger ahead. 

Customer Data-Driven Marketing is the Way Forward

Marketers today have access to an incredible variety and depth of information about their customers in the form of customer data. There’s no reason not to take advantage of that data and use it to create better marketing campaigns. Tap into customer data to ensure your marketing efforts are as effective and informed as possible. You never know what you’ll find in your customer data that may change your approach. To learn more about using customer data in a marketing context, Live Earth is here to help. Reach out to our data experts for more information. 

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