Fifty years ago, if your parents or grandparents needed a product, they would visit a local store, where the shop owner would likely walk the aisles with them and talk to them. The conversation wouldn't likely be restricted to the item to be purchased. Probably, that conversation would include topics like how the kids are doing, how the job is going, and what on earth to plant in place of that oak tree in the front yard that was killed in that horrible storm last year.
Then came the big department stores and online shopping, and away went that personal conversation between the store owner (who was really just a predecessor of the marketing professional) and his or her customer. For several decades, the business and the customers have been separated. We are separated by conveyor-belt POS systems or we are separated by e-commerce websites, but the customer and the marketer are rarely seen strolling the aisles together anymore, trying to solve the world's problems, or at least address little Johnny's diaper rash.
But big data can change all this. If you learn how to use big data right, you can virtually walk those store aisles with your customers once again and connect on a deeper level than just, "What do you want to buy today?" Here are your steps for using big data to bring that Mom & Pop shopping experience to the modern marketplace.
1. Use Mobile Apps to 'Walk the Aisle' With Your Customers
With geo-location technology, you can use your mobile apps to virtually walk the aisles with your customers. A marketing hack will limit this potential to offering the customer a coupon for Campbell's Think & Chunky Potato Stew while they're on the soup aisle. The savvy marketer will go way beyond that by providing them with recipes for how to turn that soup into a delicious, nutritious one-dish meal by adding beef and some veggies.
2. Use Social Media to Engage With Customers About Their Other Interests
Ben & Jerry's customers tend to be politically and socially conscious and lean toward the liberal side. IBM customers tend to be educated, conservative, and straight-laced. What does the data tell you about your customers? Use this to engage with them on a deeper level than, "Would you like some Cherry Garcia?" or "Are you in the market for a new PC yet?" Use social media to communicate with them about the shows they watch, the music they listen to, their role models and their enemies. Get personal.
3. Develop Content to Speak to All Your Customers at All Stages of the Customer Lifecycle
What questions do people have about your lead generation campaigns? What most often determines whether or not they convert, choose a competitor's product, or don't buy at all? After conversion, what causes your customers to continue to use your product, switch to a competitor's, or stop using it completely? Use your data to determine these answers, and then develop content to address each of these issues. Would how-to videos help? What about nifty infographics explaining the most popular uses for your products, or perhaps regular blogs that address common issues in your industry? Don't stop courting your customers once they become customers. Keep wooing them and they'll keep using your stuff.
Never stop sifting through your data to see how you can better use it to make a deeper, more personal connection with your customers. People may not shop so much anymore with Mom & Pop down the street, but they still do appreciate that level of care and attention.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.
To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, check out our real-time web form enrichment demo, or request a free marketing data diagnostic. Get the power to let data drive marketing and higher performance.