Your 2012 Strategy - Understanding Your Customer Data

Last week, I kicked off 2012 planning with a some notes on crafting your marketing framework around your overall business goals.
Data Disks. From Flickr user Emilian Robert Vicol.

This week, I want to have a bit of a chat with you about your customer data.

What do you know about your customers and how can you put that to use?

Here are a few basics to consider:

1) Geographic location - provide customers special deals based on the closest store location, on the season it is where they live, on the local sports team, or on common leisure activities in their part of the country. A strong local marketing strategy should be a key driver for your business.

2) Demographics - like age, income, net worth, and education - While lifestage is a stronger marketing metric, you can still tune the language and the imagery you use based on these kinds of metrics. Also, knowing the typical demographic of your customer is critical when you're considering where to advertise and how to price new products.

3) Purchasing behavior - this is really the strongest data you have. People's past behavior is the strongest indicator of future behavior. Important points to consider:

  • Frequency - how often each customer buys
  • Recency - when the most recent purchase was made
  • Method of purchase - at the store, online on a computer, or online via a tablet or other mobile device
  • Source of purchase - referred by another customer, responded to your catalog, clicked on an email, web search, responded to an ad, or direct visit to your web site
Once you understand purchasing behavior, you'll be able to group your customers by behavior and market accordingly - sending emails more often to email customers, turning up ads from places where customers are responding, and tuning your search marketing based on the keywords that are working for you.

Data is your most powerful marketing tool. If you're not using it, you're marketing with the lights off.

Need to turn off the dark? Let me know, I can help you make the most out of your data.

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