Customer-centric marketing

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Andrew Joiner, GM for emerging technology, Autonomy
Andrew Joiner, GM for emerging technology, Autonomy

Marketers know that to best execute campaigns, build customer loyalty, and effectively manage a brand, they need a way to access and analyze the “human information” pouring in from all channels. This human information—in the form of contact center conversations, social media, video, images, Web content, emails, and texts—is messy and difficult to interpret; but it's also where the interesting things happen—where customers share their experiences with a brand and indicate their buying preferences.

If a brand can grab this data and derive meaning from it, it can better understand each customer and deliver an optimized, personalized experience to that customer across their preferred channel. Capturing and understanding real-time unstructured data can even help drive product development.

Unstructured “human information” makes up 90% of all known Big Data, and it's growing with incredible variety and velocity. For example, with almost a billion users, there are 700 Facebook updates per second. People tweet 340 million times a day, and there are 105 Google+ updates per second. Call center conversations pose a similar challenge/opportunity: Hundreds of hours of calls with customers exist, but who has time to listen to more than a sampling to try and derive sentiment or uncover potential issues?

The key to tapping into this goldmine of data is to embrace meaning-based marketing and use real-time data analysis. Software that has pattern-matching capabilities gives marketers the unique ability to understand how the customer is interacting with a brand across all channels and pull qualitative and quantitative data on that experience.

The nature of conversation is hard for technology to understand. For example, a tweet that includes the word sick might be favorable (This new sushi place is sick!) or negative (This sushi made me sick). To get value from the social conversation, marketers must understand meaning and sentiment behind all interactions across all channels.

Themes and insights emerge from leveraging the digital breadcrumbs customers leave across their journeys. Marketers can use this information to actually hypothesize and be predictive about what's going to attract a new customer or encourage an existing customer to act. For instance, marketers can modify offers in real time, or even make changes to creative assets on websites (e.g., where the “buy” button is, even what color it is) in response to the discovered themes and insights.

Now more than ever before customers are in charge. If you're not listening to your customer, you're falling behind the thousands of companies that are. You have to listen to what your customer is saying online, in social media, and on the phone, and then optimize based on what you learn.

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