Data is here to stay. Some marketers may have wished it away, but it won't go anywhere. So, how can marketers use data and customer analytics to improve their efforts and also positively impact their CRM efforts? This has become one of the main challenges and responsibilities faced by marketers.

According to research by McKinsey, companies using data and customer analytics in effective ways show increased productivity and profitability. Companies that put data at the center of marketing efforts improve their ROI by 15 to 20 percent. This adds up to many billions of additional dollars in sales.

Related: CRM strategies businesses can’t ignore

Even though technology, data, and analytics can improve marketing in many ways, it can never replace the creativity and insights from the minds of brilliant marketers. But it’s vital to remember the importance of data. It can improve your marketing in these ways:

  • Define your ideal customer
  • Optimize your customer engagement
  • Improve retention and loyalty
  • Marketing optimization and performance
  • Reputation management
  • Competition analysis

Data on its own is nothing. It’s how data is interpreted and used which is important. Without interpretation and usage, all this focus on data is largely pointless. The companies that succeed with using data do these following things well:

They use customer analytics to identify opportunities

This means moving away from the usual way of doing things. Businesses need to focus on the data available to them, both from within the company and from outside sources. In this way, you could find specific geographic locations where your products or services sell well, where sales are lagging and where there’s opportunity for growth.

They understand their customers’ decision journey

Knowing how your customers get from finding out about your company to making an initial purchase is crucial. The reality is that the majority of purchasing decisions are now made online. This means your website needs to include all of the information needed to encourage sales. Your CRM software and strategy are of super importance in this regard. In addition, we’ve discussed previously how crucial social media is to customer support. You’ll need to ensure your social networks are monitored by an army of people, or even bots, who’re able to answer questions and provide solutions.

They know what to say and who to say it to

Data and customer analytics can be daunting. That means the people right at the front of customer service, the call center operators and the sales reps, need to have data at their fingertips. They need to know what items were browsed through, where the browsing process ended and where customers may be interested in returning to the sales funnel.

This list just scratches the surface of what is possible with data. Research has shown that personalization of interaction with customers increases the likelihood of conversions. This means emails will be opened instead of trashed and Facebook posts engaged with rather than blocked.

If your interest is piqued and you’d like to learn more about how business can benefit from artificial intelligence, read our recent blog post. It details how you can use AI in your business to increase conversions and improve customer relationships.