Big Data benefits customers
Michael Watts, GMC Software Technology
Marketers face an emerging issue that represents both an opportunity and a potential challenge: how to leverage large data sets, Big Data, to proactively manage and improve the customer experience and identify market opportunities.
Big Data has the potential to unlock value for organizations that find ways to capitalize on the stored customer data, as well as the exponential growth in data being shared via social media and the Internet. Yet, Big Data poses risks, as it can also provide the competition with an unparalleled ability to identify trends, make better decisions, and improve product offerings and customer relationships.
The amount of information about customers, including transaction records, customer service histories, preferred communication channels, and more is staggering. Add to that the information customers share via survey feedback, social media, and other online and offline sources, and it becomes clear that a vast amount of data is readily available to create highly individualized and accurate customer profiles that hold the potential to dramatically improve the customer experience.
Addressing the complexities of Big Data for the customers' benefit requires careful consideration of data workflows. Typically, information relevant to the customer experience is not universally shared within the organization. Instead, companies may be faced with a multitude of siloed data sources, from sales and marketing to customer service and IT. These data sources are often trapped in numerous legacy applications and systems.
Managing this information requires implementing a customer communication management solution with an open architecture that enables easy access and aggregation of all relevant data streams. Another important consideration is whether data can be accepted in its raw state, avoiding the expensive and time-consuming process of preparing it before it can be analyzed or repurposed.
Designing a robust customer communication management program will help achieve critical organizational objectives, including:
- Improving targeted campaigns with personalized information
- Meeting delivery preferences
- Enhancing time-to-market with new offerings
- Identifying new customer trends and market opportunities for accurate predictive modeling
Today's customers have a growing expectation to receive highly personalized, targeted communications through the channel of their choice. Implementing a customer communications management solution that can turn all that marketers know about their customer into accurate, timely, and relevant customer communications makes it possible for those marketers to better influence their customers' behavior—and their loyalty.