Data-Driven Marketing: Understanding your customer using Customer Insights

Analysing internal and external data can open new doors for businesses looking to create impactful marketing campaigns.

Author: Daniel Ogunfadebo

The goals of businesses are being challenged by the current economic realities with companies suffering like never before seen in recent times. Whether you are a small family-run business with a handful of repeat purchase clientele or a large company with hundreds of thousands of customers, data generated from customer transactions could be the key that unlocks accelerated growth.

Customer insight is the interpretation of your internal data to identify trends that are not obvious when viewed individually but become more apparent when data is analysed in bulk. Turning customer insights into action can change the customer’s behaviour for mutual benefit through positive response to marketing campaigns and higher sales volume.

There are four facts to note about customer insights:

  • Customer insights are not so obvious.
  • The observations have to be actionable.
  • Customer insights are powerful enough, such that when acted upon, it can lead to a positive change in customer buying behaviour.
  • The goal of customer insight should be mutually beneficial to the business and the customer.

Discovering hidden customer behaviour patterns

Businesses can analyse and interpret data collected during transactions to obtain insights that can unlock opportunities for sales increase. Some companies opt to conduct customer feedback surveys to discover helpful insights from their customers, although some customers don’t like to complete surveys, and responses from the few that do may be subjective and unrealistic. A more efficient way is analysing transactional data, possibly stored in a CRM or spreadsheet, to identify helpful customer buying patterns.

Another method commonly used is social listening, where companies use social media tools like #hashtags and @mentions to discover what consumers are saying about their products and services, those of their competitors and their entire industry in general.


A sample retail business transactional data

Turning Customer Insights Into Action

After data is analysed, visualised and trends are discovered, next comes the need to decide if the insight derived is actionable. If it’s actionable, then a creative marketing campaign can be created targeting that customer segment.

Marketing Campaigns That Resonate With The Target Audience

Marketing campaigns built around customer data insights are usually more effective and generate more interest with the target customer segment. It helps businesses move from expensive mass marketing and speaking to the whole market, to more cost-effective and personalised marketing and advertising. Great examples of companies utilising customer insights to drive their marketing campaigns are streaming companies like Netflix and Spotify, the former use customer insights to pick and personalise movies and curate content.


A billboard advert from Spotify’s “Thanks 2016, you’ve been weird” marketing campaign

Companies are going through difficult financial situations such as the current economic downturn, and as a result, business owners need to find ways of increasing sales and making the business more profitable. This can be achieved using customer insights to create impactful marketing and advertising campaigns.

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