Wednesday, 29 July 2020 13:37

Knowing your customers is now more important than ever

By Prakash Durgani, Segment
Prakash Durgani, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Segment Prakash Durgani, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Segment

GUEST OPINION by Prakash Durgani, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan,Segment:  Many business leaders in Australia now recognise conditions will remain uncertain for many months until a ‘new normal’ becomes clear.

During this time of uncertainty and change, it’s never been more important to have a clear understanding of customers. Knowing their needs and the best way to fulfil them will give a business the best possible chance of surviving and thriving in the weeks and months ahead.

Focused marketing

As commercial activity ramps up once again, it will be important for businesses to focus marketing efforts in the areas where it will have the maximum impact. Return on investment will be the name of the game.

However, effective marketing doesn’t necessarily require more people or bigger budgets. What’s most important is how well a business understands its customers. This can be achieved by using tools that help your business understand your users better. For example, a customer data platform (CDP) can work in tandem with your entire marketing stack to create user profiles for each customer, based on previous interactions. These profiles can then be turned into real-time audiences that are fed into a variety of tools to ensure all marketing channels are working in tandem.

This approach can also help with the personalisation of marketing campaigns and have a positive business impact in a variety of ways. For example, wasted ad spends can be reduced by removing recent purchasers from campaigns and focusing efforts on those who haven’t yet converted. 

Budgets can also be optimised by connecting all online and offline data and running more complete marketing attribution, thereby making informed budgeting decisions. 

Improved product decisions

Having a better understanding of customers can also help when it comes to creating the best product mix. Product teams make hundreds of decisions each day and, in times of uncertainty, these decisions need to be as well-informed as possible.

Whether a decision involves launching a new product or streamlining the onboarding process, the team should have an accurate picture of how people are using current products and how important they are to the business.

The best product teams have access to high-quality data to support their decision processes. For this reason, a complete customer view doesn’t just allow marketers to personalise channels, it also allows product teams to quickly run A/B tests and drive product adoption.

Having a clear understanding of customers allows the teams to understand which features drive revenue and which may need to be adjusted or removed.

A resilient tech stack

As well as a strong understanding of customers, effective marketing also needs the support of a resilient technology stack. Many businesses are realising that the tech stack they currently have in place isn’t what they will need to tackle the digital challenges of tomorrow.

New tools are appearing every day and decisions need to be made about which can add the most value to the marketing process. During this evaluation process, testing is an important step.

In the past, such testing has required the business’s engineering team to build a data pipeline and create yet another data silo. Unfortunately, this resource-heavy process has caused many businesses to simply accept the status quo.

A better approach is to adopt new technologies which allow new tools to be quickly added and removed as required. In this way, testing can be completed quickly and effectively without requiring a lot of back-end effort.

Aiming for the future

Business conditions are likely to remain uncertain for an extended period, but that shouldn’t result in a lack of activity.

The businesses that take the time now to gain a full understanding of their customers and use that understanding to create personalised marketing campaigns will be the ones that continue to flourish in the months ahead.

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