Recently, Steve Dennis posted a blog titled “Knowledge is not a Differentiator,” in which he takes a bold yet (in our opinion) true stance on the state of knowledge and data.
While the entire piece is filled with brilliant statements and sentiments, two lines in particular really jumped off the page: “companies confuse data with insight all the time” and “the difference isn’t in the knowing, it’s in the doing.”
You see, retailers get overly focused on the “big” aspect of big data – believing that if they have a lot of customer data, the insights will be readily apparent.
However, given the complexity of the data landscape, this simply isn’t the case.
The fact of the matter is, just having data is worthless.
That’s why the time is long overdue to shift the conversation away from big data and instead toward smart data.
Getting Smart With Data
Smart data, at a basic level, refers to accurate, granular-level data that enables a retailer to build a relationship with its customers and also provides the retailer with the necessary information to improve the overall customer experience.
Because customer data only becomes valuable when retailers know how to structure it and how to use it – not only to benefit themselves, but also to benefit their customers.
Finding and amassing the information is one thing, but actually revealing the insights necessary to prosper is another thing entirely.
That’s why marketers and decision makers need to stop focusing on the endless amounts of data and concentrate on asking the right questions of their data. Questions such as:
- Who are my customers?
- What is the best way to communicate with my customers?
- Which markets should I grow in?
- How do I optimize my existing markets?
When they begin to ask the right questions of their data, they can then turn those mounds of data into the answers they’re looking for – the answers that will allow them to understand their customers, understand how their best customers want to interact with their brand and products and build a marketing ecosystem of connected data that puts the customer first.
Without that insight into your customers, it becomes nearly impossible to optimize marketing programs and ensure that other activities drive a positive return.
The Bottom Line
Budgets are not endless. Consequently, focusing resources on aligning channels with the behaviors of your customers is necessary to delivering the greatest ROI.
If retailers use a customer analytic solution in the right way, it can provide a sharper perspective on customers that can be used not only for targeted marketing, but also for everything from site selection to relevant product offerings, promotions, store designs, and other elements of the overall brand.
If you want to learn more about Buxton’s analytic solutions and how they can help you put your customer at the center of your growth strategy, then we should talk.