As marketers, we rely on analysts to help us understand our customers’ behaviors so we can create relevant and meaningful customer centric marketing programs. But sometimes when marketing meets analytics, and vice versa, it can seem like both are speaking two very different languages. But, as the importance of leveraging big data for competitive advantage grows exponentially, it is critical for marketers and analysts to find a common language in order to successfully increase customer loyalty and boost marketing relevancy.
How marketers and analysts can help each other.
As the emphasis on predicable customer behaviors expands to include multiple touch points and channels, so must the role of the analyst expand to create more value for marketing. Today’s consumer is highly dynamic, shops in multiple channels, and wants immediate gratification. Marketing cannot rely on “what happened yesterday”, past campaign performance, or what the customer bought last year. While historic views are important and have their place, a more predictive, or in the moment, approach provides greater value for today’s marketing strategy. Predicative methods reduce risk, help manage investments for the greater returns, and supports the creation of more relevant customer communications.
Likewise, marketing needs to understand and appreciate the limitations that exist for their analytic teams. Oftentimes analytic teams are under-tooled and under staffed. Marketers must also appreciate that data is never perfect, data quality is often an issue, or use of data for marketing purposes may be foreign to an analyst with a financial or operational background. If needed, marketers can support their internal analysts by bringing in external analysts who understand marketing. External analysts, with marketing expertise, can bring a different perspective while teaming with your internal group.
In working with both marketers and analysts over the years, one thing is certain, collaborating on an over-arching customer strategy and agreeing on the business objectives is the key to finding a common a language rooted in common ground.
The customer lifecycle. A “lock step” strategy for marketers and analysts alike.
We recommend that marketers and analysts leverage the Customer Lifecycle Model as a foundational strategy to find that common ground. For organizations to succeed in this new age of customer empowerment a complete picture of how the customer travels through the lifecycle (read my blog on The Great Data Digital / Non Digital Divide for more on that subject) is where analysts and marketers can work together to identify opportunities to extend a customer’s lifetime value, endear more loyalty, and communicate with greater relevancy… while generating more revenues.
The lifecycle strategy combines the need for strategic customer insight and predictive models. In our recently published study, Fulfilling The Relevancy Promise, which we commissioned from Forrester Consulting, 59% of marketers reported they are challenged in generating customer insights and only 44% are able to embrace a customer lifecycle model. You can download the full study here. By working together analysts and marketers can use the lifecycle model as a foundational framework to leverage the data needed to uncover the insights that drive loyalty strategies.
Thought starter techniques that optimize lifecycle strategy and customer lifetime value
While there are multiple analytics that support a lifecycle strategy here are a few simple, yet powerful, examples as thought starters:
- To optimize your investment in new customers, identify, through segmentation and propensity models, those customers likely to deliver the highest long term value.
- To expand wallet share of a repeating customer, use affinity techniques to match the appropriate offer based on previous customer purchases.
- Fight customer attrition using churn models which can identify the early signs of potential defection. This allows you to preempt customer churn with corrective actions. Surprisingly, this type of analysis also supports customer engagement strategies early in the lifecycle—as was the case for our client, PriceSmart (a membership model like Costco Wholesale). The key to member renewal, for PriceSmart, was not the communication at the tail end of the renewal cycle, but relevant and meaningful communication early in the relationship and a program of communications through-out the year, to cement ongoing value.
You can download the full PriceSmart case study here.
About the Author:
Connie is passionate about customer relationship strategy and truly understands consumer behavior. An executive level advisor for some of the world’s most prestigious brands, Connie has a track record of delivering game changing customer strategy alongside significant bottom line results. Through the years, companies such as GE Capital, Intuit Software and Costco Wholesale have sought Connie’s expertise. Connie is President and Founder of VeraCentra, a Customer Relationship Agency.
VeraCentra’s Closed Loop Solution is an integrated approach that brings together relationship strategy and data scientist teams to overcome technology and data challenges to help yield actionable customer insights. And our Journey design services coupled with our digital platform integration team work in parallel to advance action, creating and automating customer messages. Our Closed Loop Solution is fully integrated, allowing you to realize a quick return on your customer relationship marketing investment.