Customer Data

How important is customer data to your business in 2012?

Customer data is becoming a hugely important area for businesses of all sizes in 2012. As the economic situation leads to consumers being increasingly careful on where they are spending their hard earned money, the one-size fits all marketing approach will no longer cut the mustard.

Never before have we had the level of access to in-depth data on our customers with the incredible amount of information being collected from all of us every second we are online. How we use this data will be the key.

“Context is creating relevance with your customers and to do this you need data on your customers”

Firstly, if you are not currently using the tools that are available, such as Google Analytics, to build up data on your customer base then you should be looking at getting that in place ASAP. In this article we won’t be going in-depth on the tools but if you’d like to know more about setting up Google Analytics then here is their Complete Guide.

If you are already collecting data from your customers then it is how you begin to understand trends and opportunities that will have a big impact on your business. Customer data is like gold dust. It should form the basis of your creative briefs, website design changes, newsletter layout, customer messaging, and in almost every other decision you make.

On this blog we’ve discussed how context is the new king, taking the crown from content which has been the dominant focus of website and SEO agencies for the past few years. Context is creating relevance with your customers and to do this you need data on your customers. Your marketing approach needs to be tailored to suit the different clusters of consumers that make up your target audience.

At Fasthosts we understand that the messaging for our shared web hosting customers’ needs to be very different from our messaging to our dedicated server customers. That much is relatively straight forward. But by using the data we are collecting we understand which specific niche audience to approach with a slight tweak on the advertising focus. Such as emphasising the latest server specification upgrades to our technical customers and emphasising the business benefits of scalable disk space to non-technical business owners.

Thanks to our data we know the best time to email the different customer clusters, which email client they are using and what areas of the email people are reading most.

Customer data is not only gathered through email and website analytics. Sites like Sprout Social now allow you to gather detailed information on your social media followers and we also gain a lot of information from our customers via surveys, phone conversations, support ticket feedback and webinars.

This information is used as the basis of our bigger strategic developments. If a creative brief does not have foundations firmly rooted in data trends gathered from our customers then we will place the idea in the high risk category. That doesn’t mean we will never pursue the idea but if we do we set out clear learning objectives.

Customer data has increasingly become an area of focus for us here at Fasthosts and many other businesses. We’re keen to find out how important this topic is for your business this year so please join the debate on our Facebook wall or leave a comment below.

How important is customer data to your business in 2012 and why?

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