Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Social Media Analytics: The Key to Knowing Your Customers


A decade ago companies knew very little about their customers, and most digital advertising was very loosely targeted. Then digital revolution brought an array of social data around customers’ conversations, preferences, and purchasing habits.
The science of customer insights has come a long way in recent years, but businesses still don’t fully understand what’s needed to execute on those insights.
There are several reasons for that. One, customers now use 30+ channels to collect information they need and engage with brands; it’s hard for brands to keep up. Using off-the-self targeting tactics won’t allow businesses to serve up the right information to the right customer at the right time on the right channel -- the approach that would drive consistent conversion.
Two, there is too much data to analyze and very little resources to map the insights against business goals effectively. Three, brands use a variety of disbursed (and legacy) technologies across the company that are not connected to each other.
In the era of the connected and empowered customer, it’s no longer one size fits all. Our customers expect a tailored solution, a real-time support, and, most importantly, a great experience. They want to be able to build a relationship with a brand that is based on trust and long-term engagement.
But to become truly customer-centric, companies need to build a comprehensive 360-degree view of their current and potential customers. They need to understand their preferences, interests, and needs.
 Social media analytics gives us the opportunity to do so. By listening to the voice of the customer and analyzing, filtering and organizing the data into the insights we can create customer segmentations that would allow any brand to be relevant at any touchpoint. It allows us to go beyond traditional CRM and audience targeting techniques and find out what is truly important to consumers.
And it is that knowledge that will enable companies to create remarkable customer experiences in a sustainable manner, no matter where the customer comes from and where they are in the purchasing journey.
Traditional segmentation relies on the demographics, purchasing history, website interactions, and email preferences. The nuances of social data, however, allow us to understand behavioral trends, sentiment, intent, and more. Not only that, social data can be collected and modified in real-time and better placed to maximize the return on your marketing efforts.

To be able to achieve all that, though, businesses need to have an integrated technology in place that would break silos within the organization and allow for a connected, 360-degree view of a customer. So that no matter where the customers comes from and which department they interact with, they get the service that delights and continues to nurture the valuable relationship, and hopefully leads to loyalty and advocacy.

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