Fact or myth: Great products don’t need marketing.
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Your business is nothing without your customers.
In order to keep the lights on, your company needs to be able to engage, persuade, and maintain a steady amount of customers, all while providing a unique and personal experience.
While you could guess what your customers are interested in and how they respond to different forms of engagement, think of all of the customer data you have at your fingertips with the right customer marketing strategy. Then, think about how you can use customer analytics.
What is customer analytics?
Customer analytics is the process of collecting and analyzing customer data to make better future decisions for the success of a company. Customer analytics play an enormous role in predicting customer behavior, which can help marketing and sales departments make choices about the ways that they approach customers in the future.
It seems obvious to take the time to track these analytics. But the marketing metrics that many teams are keeping an eye on are only a fraction of the data available about their customers.
Why customer analytics matter
Customer analytics is the use of data to further understand anything and everything about your customers, from how satisfied they are with your products to their buying behaviors.
It seems simple enough: collecting quality data analytics about your customers leads to the use of powerful software solutions and the knowledge of intelligent people to produce analytics. Analytics lead to actionable insight; in turn, you get to make better decisions, resulting in more ROI.
Director of Marketing at Soapbox
So why isn’t everyone measuring these metrics?
The bottom line is because data comes from almost everywhere, whether it’s from the software you use, the notes you take, or the observations you make. In tandem, the analytics resulting from that data present the same issue: it takes a lot of critical thinking to understand the importance of customer analytics while identifying and gathering insights from them.
The importance of customer analytics is simple: the more you understand your customers, the better you’ll be able to make decisions about the way you price your products, communicate with your customers, and work internally as a team. The smarter the decisions you make, the more successful your business will be, and the happier your customers will be in the long run.
If you invest your time digging into customer data, you’ll not only be able to gain insights which may be able to help predict future interactions your customers will have with you, but also help shift your own strategy in regards to how you interact with them so that you can provide a more meaningful experience.
Today, consumers are experienced; they know what they want.
Eighty-five percent of consumers expect a seamless brand experience, want rapid responses, and desire support on the channel they feel is appropriate for them. Keep in mind: every customer is different.
How can a company possibly cater to all of the individual profiles that are brought to the table? By leveraging customer analytics.
What can customer analytics do for your business?
It often goes without saying that the knowledge you have about your customer can be the key to your business' success. The more information your business collects around your customers, the better you’ll be able to handle obstacles that already exist, advance your current approaches as well as predict and prepare for the future.
Below, we've laid out some of the values that customer analytics have the potential to provide.
Boost customer retention
When you’re looking to keep customers happy for the long-term and have them coming back for more of your products or services, customer retention can be a huge help.
Since it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a current one, boosting your company’s customer retention can mean more money towards your budget that can be spent on other marketing efforts.
When you utilize analytics that are centered around your customers, you’ll be making the necessary effort to listen to your customers and act on their needs in real-time. When you ignore this data, a customer will feel like they’re not being listened to and that their needs aren’t being met. When this happens, current customers become former customers – fast.
One way to help boost your customer retention as a way to make the most of customer analytics is to utilize G2 Insight Subscription. When you get real-time data surrounding your customers, as well as your products and competitors, you can make every decision a confident one.
You’ll be able to answer questions like:
- Why did a customer leave?
- Who’s gaining on us?
- Where are we priced?
- How do we compare?
With G2 Insight Subscription, it’s just one more way you can know for sure what your customer analytics are telling you and the smartest ways to act on this data.
Determine the next best action
Knowing your customer segments like the back of your hand is great. Once you have all of that information, what do you do with it? Often, the details pulled from those segments are only enough to provide a blurred image of what steps marketers should be taking next.
Instead of making educated guesses based on theories, customer analytics can tell you exactly where your customers are spending time online, when they're active, what social media platforms they use, and indicate how you can best approach them to get the results you're looking for.
of marketing professionals see personalization as a crucial element of the customer experience.
Reduce your churn rate
Nobody wants to lose a customer; not only is it disheartening, but it's expensive.
With customer analytics, your team can choose to pay attention to the signs of unhappy customers or entire market segments. By doing this, you're creating an opportunity for your team to develop the changes that are necessary and more appropriately adapt to those customers who you may be at risk of losing.
Unsure how to take it one step further? Implement G2 Buyer Intent Data. Because you often don’t know a customer is churning before it’s too late, with this data you can tell when your current customers are actively researching your competing companies and solutions, so you have the chance to reach out, learn more about the challenge they’re facing, and come to a solution before they churn.
Buyer Intent Data through G2 can also help you to close bigger and better deals, since it can showcase the companies currently viewing your G2 Profile, helping you to send outreach efforts at exactly the right time. And because you’re able to send out a more personalized message, your campaigns will utilize customer marketing analytics and speak to their exact and unique needs.
Improve customer engagement
Delivering one message to a diverse audience might work if you know each of those individuals is a loyal customer. Unfortunately, the odds of that happening aren't so common.
Instead, customer analytics can be leveraged to increase customer loyalty and response rates at the same time by contacting customers with offers and messages more catered to them.
Industries that benefit from customer analytics
Customer analytics can tell you more about your customers in the present so that you can determine how to better interact with them in the future. While customer analytics can benefit any industry, we’ve listed examples of some that can benefit the most – and how – below.
It’s imperative that your marketing team take a deep dive into customer analytics as a way to make the most of their marketing campaigns.
Customer marketing analytics can be used as a strategy for gaining insights as a way to deliver top-notch customer experiences that are tailored to the specific preferences and needs of your customers.
Most customers know that companies collect data on them, and in turn they expect personalized interactions as a result of this data, while also being sent relevant information and offers. When your marketing team uses customer analytics, they can be used as a solution to customer demands for predictive modeling, data visualization, and so much more.
The stronger and more accurate your customer marketing analytics are, the better and more effective the customer journey and the more accurate the customer insights will be. Not only can your marketing team leverage this data to increase customer loyalty, but also to boost the customer lifetime value, and gain a complete view of their actions across various channels.
Being one of, if not the most customer-facing industry, there are infinite ways that retail can benefit from using customer analytics.
For example, marketers can use customer retail analytics to determine which platforms are most popular among segments, and then deliver personalized messages across those platforms to optimize the way they reach their customers as well as the offers they provide them with. Customer analytics can also help indicate customer preferences, which can assist product developers in their next projects.
Whether customers are applying for loans or planning money management techniques, banks are constantly working with people to better their futures. Because they deal with so many people, customer analytics can come in handy when it comes to improving customer service and interactions with customers.
In addition, customer analytics can help banks prevent issues that could arise in the future. For example, using customer analytics to determine characteristics that align with suspicious behavior can help professionals identify dangerous or suspicious behavior before it’s too late.
How to prepare for the use of customer analytics
Just like any other data, customer analytics can be leveraged to prove whether or not you’re predicting something correctly, achieving goals, or preparing properly for the future.
From the top to the bottom of the sales funnel and all the way through your marketing campaigns, customer analytics can help you answer the questions that managers and C-suite executives may have about those customers, as well as improve upon certain metrics so that you can better achieve your objectives.
Examples of questions that customer analytics can answer:
- Who are our best customers?
- What are our customers’ needs?
- What are the best touchpoints to communicate with customers?
- How do we customize our messaging to best fit our customers?
- Which markets do we have room to grow in to find potential customers?
- What kind of content is converting the most leads?
- What marketing channels are generating the most contacts?
Finding the answers to these questions and others is the key to excelling as a business, but these answers aren’t easy to find. Having the right tools to collect the data that holds those answers is the next step to creating an accurate customer profile.
How to gather metrics for customer analytics
There are many different ways to gather the types of metrics that come through the door. In fact, any platform that your team uses to collect any kind of data (social media tools, website analytics, survey tools, review platforms) are all opportunities to track customer data.
As you’re collecting data, beware of vanity metrics. In order to avoid tracking vanity metrics, or numbers that will not help you make actionable business decisions in the future, ask yourself these questions:
- Can this metric lead to a course of action or help make a decision?
- Can we reproduce this metric purposely?
- Is this metric reliable?
Below are a few examples of types of customer data that can be measured to help you gather insightful analytics as you get to know your customers a little better.
Transactional data is gathered through repeat purchases of services or products. This is often collected in retail businesses in which every purchase increases the strength of a relationship between a customer and a brand.
Customer behavior data can be gathered to learn more about how consumers use products and services so that businesses can make future decisions about how to improve customer experience. Customer behavior analytics results from data that can be collected in multiple ways, such as through research and surveys.
Web behavior data can be collected to keep tabs on every move a customer makes. From the source of the customer down to the amount of time they spend on a specific page, this data can assist a company in creating more relevant content, making pertinent recommendations, and delivering messages in a timely manner.
This data can be collected with marketing automation software, which is capable of tracking the customer journey via most major marketing efforts such as email marketing campaigns, website CTAs, and social media interactions.
Of course, the way that these methods are implemented is up to you and your team, the tools you’re already using or willing to learn how to use, and the way that your company operates. No matter what information you choose to collect from your customers, one of the most important steps you should take is ensuring organization.
Examples of brands leveraging customer analytics
The concept of customer analytics may feel a little abstract, but when you realize how heavily some companies are implementing it, you’ll soon see that you’re missing out on the fun.
It’s no surprise that G2 is making the most of customer marketing analytics. We also make it simple for our customers to implement these analytics on a daily basis.
Let’s dive deeper into a real-life G2 Customer example, Customer X.
Thanks to Buyer Intent Data, Customer X was able to see Disney appear in their dashboard, looking at their competitors. Since this is usually a sign that a customer is about to churn and give their business to a competing customer, Customer X took action right away, and got Disney on a call to check-in and see how the account was going.
Because they were able to utilize these analytics and act fast, they saved Disney as an account and not lose out on a massive customer churning to one of their competitors.
Nearly 59 million subscribers. That’s an awful lot of people to keep track of, but this media giant knows the value of their customers.
Netflix uses data regarding subscriber interactions with movies and TV shows, making note of the date it was watched, what time of day it was, what device they watched it on, and where the show was paused. If the show is paused, Netflix also takes note of whether a viewer resumes the show after pausing, whether people finish a show at all, and if so, how long it took them to do so.
What does Netflix do with all of this information? It uses it to recommend 80% of what’s on your home page.
In addition, Netflix uses data and customer experience analytics to create custom experiences.
For example, with multiple versions of a movie trailer in their pocket, Netflix will show the one that focuses on the older, male characters to users who watch TV shows that have casts of older, male characters. For users who watch mainly content that contained a particular actor that also happened to be a part of that movie, Netflix would show the version of the trailer that mainly featured that actor.
E-commerce giant Amazon has 105 million Prime members, and millions of more ways to get to know them.
The most well-known way that Amazon uses big data and customer analytics is with their recommendations. Were you shopping for dog beds? Did you see all of these dog harnesses? Sounds familiar.
Amazon does much more than that when it comes to combining big data in with its marketing performance.
Based on what you highlight in your Kindle, Amazon interprets what you like to learn about, and that’s how they make book recommendations.
Amazon also has a patented anticipatory shipping model that predicts the products you’ll likely purchase, when you’ll purchase them, and where you’ll need them. Based on this data, Amazon sends those products to your local distribution center so that they’re ready to be shipped as soon as you order.
That’s just the start of what Amazon is doing with their customer data and analytics.
The numbers don't lie
With all of the data at our fingertips, it’s no wonder why some brands struggle to sort through it all.
But now more than ever, customers value the experience you provide almost as much, if not more than, your product or service. It may sound like a lot of digging to extend the customer lifecycle, but the companies who know their customers like the backs of their hands are the ones who will succeed in the end.
Discover more about what G2 can do for you over on Seller Solutions! It's easier than you think to connect with 5 million buyers and counting.
Daniella Alscher is a Brand Designer for G2. When she's not reading or writing, she's spending time with her dog, watching a true crime documentary on Netflix, or trying to learn something completely new. (she/her/hers)
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