Analytics-based campaigns make customers happy and companies rich?

Let’s face it: Is there anyone out there who is not annoyed by advertising letters which don’t relate to our personal needs or interests? Who actually reads or remembers these mass mailings? When browsing social networks, however, I am inclined to click on ads from time to time, as they mostly correspond to my preferences.

Customers, like myself, increasingly expect personalised advertising content throughout all channels. Companies can no longer afford to send out non-personalised mass mailings by means of a scattergun approach.

With this in mind, it is quite surprising that many still struggle to undertake a customer-centric approach to campaign management.  The younger, digital and technologically savvy generation of customers are often more interested in lifestyle topics rather than in traditional automotive topics.

Frequently, this target group prefers to be contacted via social media with engaging content, such as Instagram. This emphasises the need to generate memorable experiences tied to the customer’s personal interests or preferences, rather than providing them with irrelevant adverts.

The key to achieving a high degree of personalisation lies with analytics: a method that makes use of knowledge from various data sources, in a computer-assisted way. Analytics enables us to systematically analyse customer preferences and needs, and to predict future customer behaviour.

In effect, amongst others, analytics can be used to calculate the date of re-acquisition and understand the product the customer is most likely to purchase next. Analytics can also offer the probability of churning, the future value of the customer, their lifestyle affinities and much more.

Therefore, companies should invest in analytics as a method that drives an accurate and tailor-made customer approach, in order to optimise their campaigns and other marketing activities.

Analytics creates value for both customers and companies

An analytics-based, and thus individualised, customer approach offers enormous potential for improved customer satisfaction through intimate and seamless customer relations throughout the customer life cycle. For this reason, customer-centric campaign management paves the way for increased customer loyalty and retention.

For companies, analytics can thus be the lever for sales growth by optimising the purchase initiation as well as realising cross- and up-sell potentials, which companies such as Amazon have demonstrated successfully. In addition, there are also cost-cutting options through more targeted customer contact and saving on shipping costs. With a professional approach, the necessary initial investments will likely be amortised in the short to medium term.

Implementation and challenges

Thus, the question is not whether a company should use analytics, but rather how? The prerequisites are now more favorable than ever. Digital touch points and mobile devices are increasing, and the willingness of customers to share data is continuously accelerating. Thus, the resulting volume of data is growing exponentially and digital channels are enabling more and more opportunities for customer dialogue.

However, it is often hard for companies to exploit this potential. To use analytics successfully, it is essential that both a cross-disciplinary analytics strategy and the necessary know-how are employed.

Initially, it is often a great hurdle to gain the management’s attention regarding analytics and also for them to commit to a long-term investment. In most cases, the first step is to build up a central data base of sufficient quantity and quality, which for many companies means group-wide efforts.

In addition, a suitable (IT) infrastructure, as well as knowledge about successful implementation of data-driven business processes and models are necessary. Furthermore, offers fitting to corresponding insights are crucial.

Because of these prerequisites, many challenges arise that pose difficulties even for experienced companies, and frequently slow down or impede the implementation of comprehensive analytics-based campaign management.

In order to implement a near-term solution, many companies use both in-house knowledge as well as external service providers for the conception, construction and implementation for customer-centric campaign management. This allows them to successfully realise the enormous potential analytics can offer to enhance customer experiences.