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How to turn customer behaviour into insights for greater marketing results?

David Greenman, Chief Customer Officer

Turning previous customer behaviour into actionable insights can not only help evidence the impact marketing has had on success, but also help predict future customer behaviour.

The importance of finding the root of success

A widespread problem that marketers encounter is being able to demonstrate how they have contributed to success or attribute revenue to specific activities. This will ultimately restrict their ability to demand budget or resources as they have limited evidence to prove the means of success.

To explain the importance of getting this right, you need to understand how most marketers work and the constraints they may encounter. As previously mentioned, any marketer that finds it difficult to demonstrate how they achieved success will limit their ability to fight for budget or resources. Marketing budgets are still often set as a percentage of turnover and do not correlate to the desired business objectives. This should not be the status quo!

Marketing deserves a seat at the table and the best way to ensure this is to have ready access to core performance metrics. A marketing operations team is now a vital part of any effective marketing operating model. Comparable to the marking of most exams, the answer is important, but you also have to show your working out! Successful marketers must be able to identify what caused success and know how to replicate it.

Turning intention into action

Now that you’ve identified that you need and want more insight into your customers, where do you start? Data is the fuel of modern marketing, so you’ll need to capture everything relating to your customer’s engagement with your brand. Every web visit, email interaction or order will have some customer info attached to it. This information can be aggregated to build a single view of that customer from the perspective of marketing.

There are several tools in the marketing technology sector that can fulfil this role, but the most appropriate and effective is the Customer Data Platform (CDP). The CDP can aggregate data from several disparate sources and organise it around a self-generated unique customer identifier, which then means changes in some of the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and email addresses can still be rolled up into the same individual.

The power of this becomes apparent very quickly as customer identity and behaviour appear with laser focus. Once identification has happened, you can start to analyse and see if the resultant insight allows you to predict future behaviour, and most importantly, purchases.

Turning segmentation into prediction

A customer’s recency, frequency and monetary value (RFM) score has remained a persistent metric that defines a customer’s worth and basis for segmentation. The intersection of these three scales will often be the top tier of your loyalty programme if you have one.

Pigeon-holing your customers into pre-defined buckets or segments will allow you to gain some economies of scale in the creation of campaigns and creative, but it may not lead to increased engagement from the customer or increased lifetime value. Savvy marketers understand that the path to advocacy comes from relevance and context, which is often only possible when delivering 1-2-1 marketing and attempting to predict the next best action for the customer.

To sum it up

Identifying and presenting the root causes of success is especially important when evaluating the effectiveness of marketing activities. Being able to back up, with facts, that your efforts have led to successful results, gives you the ability to demand budget or resources to further grow your marketing capabilities. In addition to this, having the power to turn previous customer behaviour into actionable insights will support you with evidencing the impact your efforts have made. Not only will you be able to prove success, but you will also have the opportunity to predict future customer behaviour and identify what marketing activities are succeeding and replicate them accordingly.

If you are interested in gaining greater insights about your customers and want to prove the value of your marketing activities, don't hesitate to get in touch and learn how Hive Marketing Cloud can help you.

About the Author

David Greenman, Chief Customer Officer
David has over 25 years of experience in the software industry, having held a number of directorial positions in predominately Marketing Services and Marketing Software companies. Initially, from a technical background, his managerial and business acumen has resulted in him holding a number of director-level positions, including remits for Operations, Sales, Development and Consultancy. David was a founding member of the software and services company, smartFOCUS PLC. The company grew to have > 120 employees with 8 offices in The UK, US, France and The Netherlands, turning over in excess of £11.5m. David is responsible for ensuring the success of our customers through training, consultancy and managed services.
Connect with David on LinkedIn.

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