Customer analytics is an invaluable resource. For enterprise and mid-sized organizations.
Evaluating individuals’ purchases, behaviors, engagement, and interests, then acting on that data in real time — and, ideally, through customer lifecycle orchestration, not static, outbound marketing campaigns — is now a must for these businesses.
But it’s only the companies that make savvy investments in customer analytics technology that can truly make the most of their audience insights.
From predictive modeling and multi-dimensional segmentation to real-time engagement.
Specifically, it’s companies with customer data platforms (CDP) like BlueConic that are able to identify trends and patterns associated with segments and use that information to implement more intelligent, cross-channel marketing activities.
Business intelligence (BI) tools, customer journey analytics software, and similar legacy technologies have been organizations’ go-to audience analysis solutions for years now.
However, many companies have substantial amounts of big data in their tech ecosystems.
Thus, it’s best for them to have a central customer analytics solution — not an array of tools — that unifies all first-party data and enables more efficient analysis.
All this is to say you can’t forecast future customer behavior, calculate lifetime value, or make important business decisions without a mature customer analytics setup. And a CDP.
The evolution of customer analytics: From legacy tech to advanced tools
The tech landscape has evolved a lot in recent years. To the point that all growth-focused teams can capably understand, evaluate, and activate data. And all without the need for (constant) help of analytics, BI professionals, and data scientists.
It’s this innovation in big-data analytics tech that has paid off for companies. Case in point:
The use of customer analytics comprehensively to inform marketing decision-making rose 21% from 2018 to 2019 for B2C businesses, per the CMO Council.
Of course, not all data-driven tools offer the capabilities growth teams need to better understand audiences’ buying habits, browsing behavior, product preferences, and the like.
Legacy databases — data lakes, master data management systems, CRM software — are (mostly) solid single sources of truth for all big data. But robust analytics tools they are not.
Even legacy solutions in which companies are able to generate valuable insights — like data warehouses — aren’t as valuable anymore. Why? Per Google analytics experts Robert Saxby and Saptarshi Mukherjee noted, their legacy infrastructure is a hindrance.
The pair noted it takes a considerable amount of time and resources for IT and/or data science to glean worthwhile insights from a data warehouse. This data latency leads to ineffective, untimely data utilization for growth teams — notably marketing.
Ultimately, this means tech decision-makers and team leaders must outline their companies’ unique analytics needs and pain points to find the best solution.
Fortunately, many grasp the profound impact consented, first-party data — and rich insights based on said data — has on their core metrics: from customer loyalty to CLV.
Which is why so many turn to the customer data platform to unify their data and simplify journey analysis for their teams. Not just those in analytics and marketing, but also ecommerce, customer experience, and even customer service.
The role of predictive customer analytics in companies’ success today
Pure-play CDPs like BlueConic enable these teams and others like them to not just look back at past prospect and customer data, but also predict future engagement and behavior.
As Forrester Senior Analyst Tina Moffett stated, artificial intelligence (AI) is now a critical business resource. And one that can plays an important role in modern customer analysis.
According to Moffett, growth teams — and, specifically, the leaders of these teams (CMOs, CDOs, etc.) “must embrace AI to achieve” success in their respective roles.
One facet of AI that can streamline each team’s customer analytics efforts? Machine learning technology that helps them develop and deploy predictive behavioral models.
For instance, BlueConic offers out-of-the-box (OOTB) models any tech user — regardless of technical expertise — can use with ease.
(Translation: without a data scientist or IT professional standing over their shoulder.)
For instance, technology users on ecommerce teams can easily use our customer data platform to deploy one or more of our OOTB predictive models and estimate when individual customers or shopper segments are likely to churn and/or buy next.
The pros of predictive analytics are apparent. And, per a recent Gartner survey, many business professionals — including and especially marketers — are starting to realize them.
In fact, 80% plan of everyday marketers plan to leverage predictive analytics in their engagement strategies moving forward.
Before they can do so, though, these pros — and those on other growth teams — must address two key challenges to fully realize their desired level of customer analytics maturity:
- 1) Improve their data literacy: That is, they must learn the ‘language’ of data so they can capably analyze and act on real-time customer insights.
- 2) Un-silo their customer data: In other words, connect all their existing systems and sources so data syncs seamlessly into a single source of truth.
The former can be accomplished by learning from their more technical counterparts in data science and analytics. The latter can be achieved by onboarding a pure-play CDP — which, by nature, offers intricate, easy-to-employ analytics and modeling capabilities.
The ways in which you can improve your analytics maturity with a CDP
Data silos’ downsides have long been evident to organizations. (And, specifically, to C-suites.) As Entrepreneur contributor and marketing expert April Rassa astutely relayed:
“Data silos have become the scourge of the 21st century. Besides the costs you’ll have to pay — because eventually you’ll have to undo this problem — separating data into various databases and programs rather than fully integrating it significantly hinders efficiency and productivity.”
Thankfully, ‘bridging’ data from different tools and syncing it into a single, readily accessible solution that democratizes data is easier than ever with a CDP like BlueConic.
Our CDP normalizes first-party data in a centralized location and creates persistent, dynamically updated profiles for each individual in a company’s database environment.
This enables every growth team who uses BlueConic to better understand their audience and efficiently assess and forecast their behaviors and actions. And all in actual real time.
Customers in various industries use our platform to analyze their customer base:
- Subscription-based businesses with loyalty programs can calculate the customer lifetime value for subscribers across their various pricing tiers
- Publishing companies can determine what turns casual readers into new subscribers and entice repeat visitors to sign up for their newsletters
- Retailers can compare different buyer segments and identify ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ customers to know who to prioritize with heir engagement efforts
From this regular analysis, tech users and their organizations at large can realize greater ROI: both in terms of revenue generated and efficiencies gained across growth teams.
No business professional becomes a customer analytics expert overnight.
But with the right processes and technology to support your audience analysis, you’ll be well on your way to better interpreting — and liberating — your customer data.
Download Forrester’s 2020 Now Tech: Customer Analytics Technologies report to discover the ideal analytics solutions on the market today — including BlueConic’s CDP.