Predictive Marketing News: Five Ways to Avoid Choking On Your Customer Data

March 13, 2015


Customer data can power relevant and profitable customer relationships. This week, we have assembled some advice from writers around the web on how to avoid choking on your customer data in the process:

1. Collect enough customer data

Direct Marketing News wrote a great article titled “Marketers Crave Data” about the adoption of data driven marketing. In its third annual “Big Data's Big Payday” report, Infogroup says that 53% of marketers yearn for more customer information. The trick is that you don’t know ahead of time which data is most meaningful when it comes to making customer predictions. Some customers have online data, but lack insights into store transactions.

2. Integrate your customer data

Peter Malony points out in MediaPost that while “predictive customer analytics is becoming practical for marketers to exploit on their own, even for making personalized 1:1 best offers to each individual customer”. He is right that “the data integration project [that precedes predictive calculations] easily consumes 90% of the time for many analytics projects.” As we commented earlier this week, having more information without a way to integrate and link that information is useless.

3. Present meaningful customer data to management

In 3 Ways To Make Data Marketing Work For You, Sean Stokes, associate vice-president of customer analytics for Canadian Tire Corp. (CTC), shares that CTC’s top brass never used to care for analytics. They key, he says and we agree, is to focus on metrics management cares about. In our experience, management is keen to know who are the most profitable customers and where they came from, and what percentage of customers are repeat buyers.

4. Give customers control over their data

Using customer data can quickly go from meaningful to creepy if you aren’t transparent about the data you collect, and give your customers a degree of control. VentureBeat higlights how “Smart Companies Will Start Giving Data Back To Their Users”. Forbes examines the trade-off between “Privacy and Personalization” and Smart Data Collective recommends to “Value Your Customer Data as Business Asset”.

5. Avoid Martech spaghetti when wrangling customer data

Brian Anderson points out in his recent article for The DemandGen Report: “Following several years of hype and some debate over competing concepts, the marketing cloud is becoming a reality.” 

Other stories about predictive marketing we read this week:

Big data in retail

Exploring the cutting edge: predictive marketing analytics

What is your customer divorce rate? <- probably higher than the US divorce rate