Big data – the latest buzzword. What does it mean for your business?

Big dataBig Data. Yet another buzzword we love to hate.

Competing for first choice when it comes to your customers’ buying decision is not a walk in the park. They’re looking at social networks, friends’ recommendations, quality and price before even considering what to purchase and from where.

You may already be offering your consumers the best products and first-class service, but research suggests that 80% of a business’ lost customers are ‘very satisfied’ right before they take their loyalty elsewhere.

This is where big data comes in. It’s the secret weapon to being awesome at keeping your customers coming back.

Really know your customer.
Big data allows you to get into your customer’s head (granted this sounds a little creepy, but hear us out). Data sheds light not only on your customers’ demographics, but their shopping behaviours – trends over time, buying patterns online vs. offline and basket items that drive higher spend. Interpreting this gold-mine of information and translating it into ‘actionable insight’ will allow you to understand your consumers as individuals. And knowing your customer, that’s marketing 101.

More targeted offers – more often.
The average consumer spends nearly 3 times more when their relationship is built on preferences. But it’s about more than just dumping them on a mailing list. Utilise your data to deliver offers that are specifically tailored to the recipient. For example, a leading supermarket offered their loyalty club members who bought nappies for the first time a promotion on beer. What? Their data analysis revealed that new dads were buying more alcohol, likely because they were unable to go to the pub. (This special sold out in less than 90 minutes FYI) Acting deliberately on insight to develop targeted communications can effectively direct your customer to the ‘right’ product at the right time.

Emotionally connect your customer to your brand.
We all want loyal customers – the type that recommend you to their friends, happily go out of their way to shop with you and stick by your business through tough times. Mining your data to create ‘just for me’ experiences will build an emotional connection between you and your consumer. And don’t underestimate their worth; a loyal customer is up to 20 times more valuable to a business than a disinterested one.

It makes sense that big data is a hot topic these days. But we know integrating and translating huge amounts of data from multiple sources is no easy feat – it takes technology, expertise and time.

However, before you put this in the too hard basket for your business, just remember, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

Sources: Loyalty 360⁰, Harvard Business Review Online, Bloomberg, Marketing Magazine

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