If you use data to market your business better, you're on the right track. If you are overwhelmed with the amount of data available and struggle to make sense from it, you're not alone. It is predicted that 1.7 megabytes of data will be produced by 2020, and our digital data universe will expand to 44 trillion gigabytes. Trillion.
That's a lot of data.
How are we even capable of producing that level of data? Well, there are 40,000 search queries on Google every second (that's 1.2 trillion searches annually). There are trillions of images, comments, likes, shares and content posted every single year.
However, only a fraction of this data is being analyzed and turned into insights. And these insights can be used to connect with customers and deliver exceptional experiences across every touchpoint.
Insights give you an inside look at your customer - what they love, hate, need and want. Insights allow you to listen to what your customers are saying about you, what they expect from you and how you can deliver on this expectation.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”
- Harper Lee
5 Reasons Developing Insights Is Worth Your Time...
Insights are powerful, but they take time to develop. And this often where businesses grow cold to the idea. Time is a precious resource, and developing insights just takes too much of it. Here are 5 reasons why developing insights in actually worth your time.
1. Reduce the cost of customer acquisition
It costs 6-7 times MORE to acquire a new customer than to nurture a current one. Knowing what your customers love and hate gives you the power to create products, services and experiences that are valuable and relevant to your current customer base.
2. Reduce product and service failures
From developing and testing a new product to launching it to market, the innovation process is lengthy. And without insights, it can be a costly failure. If you are thinking about launch a new online course to teach people how to brand their business, gather a few insights first: is there a competitive product? Do consumers even want it? The more you know about your customers, the more intelligently you can create innovative products and failures.
3. Reduce marketing costs
Creating an exceptional customer experience is to create a loyal customer. When they do, they become your de facto marketing department. When you deliver on an exceptional experience for every single customer across every single touchpoint, they will talk about their amazing experience. This increases your referrals and decreases your marketing spend.
4. Attract the best talent
People want to work for mission-centered organizations. They want to feel as though they are contributing to something larger. By developing insights on your customers and your operations, you can create a customer-centric culture. And when you include your employees in gathering insights about your customers, you give them a sense of ownership and empower them to flawlessly execute on the customer experiences.
5. Reduce time to market
With amazing insights, you will know exactly what your customer type(s) wants in a product or service. This gives you laser-sharp focus to produce an exceptionally relevant and valuable product, and you reduce the time spent developing, testing, editing and revamping.
Ways to Develop Insights...
There are a lot of low-cost and effective ways to generate insights on your customer types. Here are just a few:
- Set up Google Trends to stay abreast industry trends
- Spend some time in Facebook Insights to gather data on customer behavior
- Send a survey to your current customer list to understand what they love and what they hate
- Read reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and other relevant review sites (if possible, invite your "haters" to a meeting where they can voice why they don't like you)
- Check social media mentions and read comments
- Experience your business as a customer - observe your customers interacting with your products
- Ask your customer-facing employees (customer service staff, salespeople, etc.) on their ideas for innovations
Being exceptional requires front-end and continual investment in learning everything you can about your customers. However, when you do invest the time in developing key insights, you will create important connections with your customers, attract great talent, see an incredible return and build your business.
*Huge thank you to Nicholas J. Webb for being the inspiration behind this post.