any one of these can make a BIG difference in your small business marketing.
If your company is like many small businesses today, customer-centric marketing (CCM) may be at the center of your marketing endeavors. After all, knowing what a customer wants and likes, increases your chances to sell more product.
The people in the above photo may all have a different reason why they would buy your product. They also have similarities that can be documented and grouped into segments. Marketing must build customer segments and determine what relevant type of message causes a person to react and buy. Like the woman sitting in the box.
So before you jump on the bandwagon, let me share a few ideas you need to think about to take full advantage of a CCM program.
Plan to use more and better data management.
In data management, people are seeing data compiled from a variety of different sources. Some can come from social media, content marketing, your blog or even an email newsletter.
Yes, your technology person can offer a variety of methods for customer profiling, personas or segments, but not the final determination. Marketing must make that decision.
Before you even think at what cost to your small business, there are many options not involving your checkbook.
- Small business decisions are easier to make.
- There is a ton of material on this blog to help you market better.
Let’s look first at Big Data but keep an open mind. It is presented here to help generate a few ideas for your small business.
Big Data is not for a small business but what is Big Data?
I believe the more you know, the more you’ll grow. More knowledge generates more marketing ideas. For example, in Big Data, analytics, descriptive and predictive analysis, enters the mix of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The bigger companies are trying to determine marketing effectiveness and return on investment. The two (Big Data and CRM) when bundled together show data-driven insights allowing marketing to connect the dots between real people.
According to Dr. Michael Wu, in an edition of Information Week published in December of 2013, he defines descriptive data and predictive analysis. Here is my edited version.
Descriptive analytics: “This is the simplest class of analytics, one that allows you to condense big data into smaller, more useful nuggets of information.”
“Most raw data, especially big data, are not suitable for human consumption, but the information we derive from the data is,” Wu wrote. “The purpose of descriptive analytics is to summarize what happened.”
Predictive analytics: make predictions about the future. “The purpose of predictive analytics is NOT to tell you what will happen in the future,” Wu blogged, “it cannot do that. In fact, no analytics can do that.”
“Predictive analytics can only forecast what might happen in the future, because all predictive analytics are probabilistic in nature.” In the most general cases of predictive analytics, “you basically take data that you have to predict data you don’t have,” Wu told InformationWeek.
Now you have a very general idea about big data. Let’s take this new found knowledge and apply it to your marketing.
Let me sort this out in small business bytes.
How are these two data analytics used in a small business? Example from a small business using small data: “Of the 300 customers who know what they want and really like our product, 200 are female and the remaining 100 are male. Total sales for the month for female were $6,000 and male, $2,000.” This is descriptive analysis according to small business.
“By adding 250 new female customers next month to our sales, we may increase the sales dollar volume by over 100%.” This is a predictive analysis according to a small business. A very simple analogy but you get the idea.
Let me say it again, “Big Data is not recommended for a small business, but for a small business to put on their thinking cap and give birth to a few ideas.” Big Data is for a small business to emulate. It is there to give a small business a way to generate ideas for the best use of data they can capture on a much smaller scale. Don’t try to emulate the big boys, (especially in customer service)! Strive for data you can use to increase your sales performance.
My simple definition of CCM is – Customer-Centric Marketing means to fulfill all the needs and wants each customer expects, with a passion to succeed, provide an extra step of service and do it all with a smile – and a strong value proposition to keep customers coming back.
How a small business handles customer relationships can be a big reason for marketing success.
For additional information, request our report, “Customer Contacts… to know is the ability to manage.” All you need to provide is your name or company name and email address and this enlightening report with examples is immediately sent to your inbox.
Additional information is available on our website, Marketing Communications Group.
Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.
Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you.