WHO are your best customers? What can you do to retain them? How can you attract others like them? How can you improve the profitability of all your customers? The truth is that most retailers have difficulty understanding and managing customer life-cycles and profitability. This difficulty often stems from an inability to view, measure or track customer interactions, as well as problems in measuring the impact of marketing communications on customer behaviour.
Many retailers also struggle to drive and manage the sophisticated, targeted communications that are necessary today to retain current customers or acquire new ones. Their existing marketing applications are simply not capable of handling the mountains of data now gathered about customer interactions and profiles; nor can such applications turn this data into the intelligence needed to improve the return on marketing investments.
Customer data tends to be scattered across the enterprise, divided according to business lines or regions. The lack of an integrated view of the customer that incorporates all these disparate sources leads to additional problems for retailers. In particular, decision makers will often get multiple answers to the same question, leading to poorer decisions and ultimately inadequate results. Another struggle for retailers is to coordinate outbound campaigns with inbound customer interactions, which means that customer behaviour often fails to trigger appropriate offers and communications.
Unfortunately, attempting to compensate for these difficulties by flooding customers with an assortment of marketing campaigns won’t do the trick. Large retailers must work faster and smarter to deliver and track sophisticated, event-driven marketing communications with ever-tightening deadlines, turning data about customers into knowledge that empowers the retailer to make better decisions.
To address above challenges its important to embrace customer-focused culture and complement that with effective deployment of Customer Intelligence solutions which delivers fast, significant return on their marketing investment by enabling them to carry out measurable, integrated marketing campaigns; maximise customer profitability, acquisition and retention and leverage existing investments in technology.
Manage customer life-cycles
Rather than merely looking at static snapshots of customers, right Customer Intelligence solutions enables an organisation to create a dynamic picture of customer that changes as customers move through their life cycles and gives retail organisation a more accurate way to track past behaviour, predict future behaviour and respond to changes — letting them construct better communication strategies and grow healthier, more profitable customer relationships.
Drive communication moves
It is important to build an organisational capability by deploying right solutions which will enable organisation to meet increasing demand for frequent, complex customer communications. Advanced analytic techniques such as data mining, market-basket analysis, segmentation and profiling powers organisation to define more precise segments for tailored, optimised communications. Additionally it allows retailers to track customer behaviour in real time and respond to behavioural changes right away, ensuring that customers always receive the best offer for any given situation.
Provide integrated support
Because truly successful marketing can only be achieved through efficient collaboration across the organisation, with right customer intelligence solutions all business units have access to powerful analytic capabilities—in a way that directly sup-ports their role. This broadens the potential user base and empowers users to work together more efficiently, whether their role is strategic planning, offer optimisation, or predictive analytics.
The author is CEO and MD, SAS India