The path-to-purchase these days is rarely linear. Rather, customers often take a multi-directional route as they interact with brands through various platforms and channels before reaching their final check-out destination. The impetus behind this change of pace: mobile and digital technology, and the opportunity it affords companies to create meaningful, 1:1 relationships with the clients they serve. As a result, interested customers are no longer limited to walking into a physical, brick-and-mortar storefront to purchase the goods and services they need. Now, they can simply hop on their smart phone, tablet, or other device for instant access to myriad options that fit the bill.
Such innovation not only benefits your core audience—it also poses incredible growth opportunity for your business, primarily by allowing the capture of key profile data that can be leveraged to drive improved performance and more targeted campaigns. From statistics on abandoned online “shopping cart” rates to click counts that monitor the various paths of activity as individuals peruse digital offerings, the amount and level of data available is virtually endless, and a majority of it can be used to help companies create contextual, customized interactions that clients crave—for example, think of Amazon’s “customers who bought this also bought this” outreach method, and the amount of add-on sales it generates.
Big Data, Not Big Mess: How CRM Helps Organize and Maximize Customer Insights
Yet, finding an organized way to make sense of this influx of information can be overwhelming at best, and it’s only set to become more challenging as digitalization continues to boom—there’s a reason why data of this sort is referred to as Big Data. In fact, a recent report from Deloitte highlighted that the digital universe is expected to grow to 40 zettabytes by 2020 through a 50x explosion in enterprise data. These figures are staggering for any company, especially Small-to-Midsized Businesses (SMBs) seeking to stand out from the competition. With so many routine tasks to consider and take up each day, finding the time to sort through the vast—yet valuable—amounts of Big Data available can easily be an overtaking task.
Thankfully, proven CRM systems are more than capable of not only storing and tracking this information—but turning it into actionable insights through advanced analytics capabilities that can turn head-scratching databases of numbers and formulas into easy-to-understand graphs and charts that illustrate trends, helping executives create more realistic and appropriate financial forecasts, quickly see which marketing campaigns are working and which need to be revisited, and correlate patterns in customer behavior to retain core customers and better attract new prospects.
Moving Forward: Laying the Foundation for Analytics Now
Another Deloitte survey recently found that nearly 75 percent of executives are currently focusing on initiatives related to the Internet of Things (IoT). As companies consider which technologies to invest in, which routes to pursue to boost growth, and which tools their employees most need to stay relevant and connected to an increasingly discerning customer base, a CRM system should be top of the list. Without the analytical features provided by such CRM solutions, interactions across the IoT can easily become lost, muddled, or inefficient. Before getting deeper into digital, make sure the groundwork is prepared to maximize your ROI, helping turn Big Data into Big Dollars.
Deloitte University Press, “Tech Trends 2015: The Fusion of Business and IT,” http://www2.deloitte.com/gr/techtrends2015.
Deloitte University Press. 3D opportunity for end-use products, October 16, 2014, http://dupress.com/articles/3d-printing-end-use-products/.