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Smart marketing starts with knowing your customer

Posted by Samantha DeLaire

Nov 9, 2016

Do you really know your customers, or are you just guessing?

When creating marketing materials and campaigns, many companies rely on an intuitive understanding of client preferences and behavior. This approach can lead to missed opportunities, because you simply don’t have the customer data and insights necessary to effectively target your communications.

Data drives great marketing

What if you could understand customers much better—not just from your own observations, but based on real-world data? Using customer data to inform marketing decisions means you have something more solid than gut instinct to rely on. Over time, you can come to predict consumer behavior by season, geography, product type, service line—any data point you collect can become fodder for competitive advantage.

In the past, business intelligence (BI) solutions that make such a strategy possible were only available to large companies with dedicated IT staff. Today, the cloud makes it possible for small and midsize businesses to obtain these powerful technologies as low-cost or even free subscription services to try first.

Scaling personal service

Customer data insights become ever-more-important as you grow from a small to a midsize business or larger. The intimate client relationships characteristic of smaller organizations can be difficult to maintain on a larger scale. At the same time, customers want their needs met with accuracy and a personal touch.

Data is the bridge that can get you from here to there. Using customer data, you can segment your clients into groups based on various characteristics, such as purchase size or industry. Then, you can tailor marketing to match their preferences, simultaneously making the customer experience more personal and increasing the efficiency of interactions.

Keeping the whole customer in view

It’s common for companies to have multiple touchpoints with customers, such as sales, service, project management, and so on. There’s a tendency for data about customers to become fragmented, making it harder to understand the full spectrum of their behavior.

When looking at small business data solutions, like BI, it’s important to seek out options that can incorporate many types of data, regardless of where it is stored. The more data you can use, the more accurate your insights can be. What about pulling data from multiple sources into one view? With a data-agnostic solution, your analytics can serve as connection points for gaining an accurate view of your customer across the entire purchasing journey.

Choose wisely

Getting to know your customer is easier than ever thanks to cloud technology. By centralizing data from a wide variety of sources and delivering powerful visualization and analytics tools, these solutions can enable you to create compelling messages that speak to customers’ true needs. They work closely with other solutions in the Microsoft platform, including Office, SQL Server, Azure, and more, while also interoperating seamlessly with popular third-party solutions. Discover how knowing your customer can mean growing your business.

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