Second quarter is the best time of year to take stock of your 2016 goals. Enough time has passed in the new year to determine if you’re on track, and there’s enough time left in the year to make changes if you’re not!
There are three key questions that need to be answered in order to meet your marketing goals this year.
The answers to these questions will help you…
- Choose the right marketing channels
- Connect with the right customers
- Create marketing messages based on real customer responses
If 2016 isn’t shaping up the way you had hoped, or if you feel frustrated by disorganized data, it’s not too late to turn things around:
1. Who is your customer?
Not only do you have to know who your customers are in terms of demographic information; you also need to know which customers are the most valuable to your company.
Identifying which customers are most likely to buy, and figuring out when they’re going to buy, can significantly increase profits and slash your marketing spend.
Instead of dumping marketing dollars into customers who have shown you, through their behavior, that they’re not interested, you can apply a laser focus (and less of your budget) on those who are ready to pull out their credit card.
2. What are your customers’ buying patterns?
If you are intimately familiar with your customers and what they tend to buy, you can easily find more customers whose behavior follows a similar pattern.
We do this for our clients every single month. After sending their data to an external supplier, we can easily find new customers based on net worth, age, income, religion, interests, or whatever data points we happen to be interested in – especially buying patterns.
When it comes to finding new customers, you have two choices: you can throw rocks at your target and hope something hits, or you can throw darts and increase your chances of hitting the bulls eye.
It’s much easier to find new customers when you turn data into darts, and predict new customer behavior using current customer buying habits.
3. How are those patterns changing over time?
Three years ago, we helped our client use customer data to determine the preferred furniture style of a particular ethnic group. At the time, our data showed that this group of customers was buying leather furniture more than any other customer group. We shared this information with our client and they used it to change the imagery in their direct and email marketing to these people and used it to merchandise certain stores differently.
Three years later, that same group had completely changed what they were buying.
Imagine if the client had thought they were “finished” analyzing their customer, and had continued marketing products to a group no longer interested in buying? Thousands, even millions of dollars could have been wasted!
“Become a student of customer behavior”
Be a student of your customers’ behavior, and observe how it changes each quarter, seasonally, and annually. Everyone’s business is seasonal. Your customers in the first quarter could look completely different from your fourth quarter customers.
If your data is stored in multiple locations, or managed by a single person or team in a way you don’t understand, it’s next to impossible to get the information you need to make informed marketing decisions.
If you’re not able to answer these three questions within an hour or two, chances are good you need a data audit.
An audit will help you…
- Work with the people in your organization to gain access to customer data.
- Create customer profiles in order to track behavior over time.
- Develop systems to regularly monitor customer data and see how it changes.
- Use what you learn to make your marketing more effective in 2016!
Food For Thought: S’mores Ice Cream
I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout in my youth, and spent many summers camping with my family, so it should go without saying that I love a good S’more!
I found this recipe for S’mores ice cream and just had to try it. Now we all know that S’mores can be a bit messy. The marshmallows get sticky, everything starts oozing onto your fingers, and before you know it half the S’more is on the ground!
Your data can feel that messy, too. When everything is stored in different places, and you don’t even know what you’re dealing with, the thought of doing a data audit is like biting into a S’more: you want to dive in, but you’re afraid of the mess you may end up facing!
While a data audit might appear messy and intimidating, the end result is just like a S’more: sweet, satisfying, and so worth it in the end.
I could have stopped preparing this recipe the second I added the roasted marshmallows to the ice cream – WOW! It was fantastic! But I pushed on and added the chocolate sauce for the swirl, followed by graham crackers to complete the mission. Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! S’mores Ice Cream is one heavenly mess that really will make your brains fall out!
Does all that sound like a lot of work? Are you afraid of your messy data? If you need help building out customer profiles, cleaning up your data, or simply want more information about how to leverage data to increase your 2016 profits, contact Bonnie at (312) 463-1050 or by clicking here now.