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Customer intelligence means marketing to individuals

We live in an unprecedented age of opportunity for marketing. More than ever before, the array of channels available to reach customers is growing faster than a company’s ability to keep pace. Today’s marketer can still tap into traditional mass advertising to reach their customers, but consumers use multiple channels – from online, to social, to mobile – and each of those channels play a distinct role in the buy process.

Today’s consumer is willing to divulge personal information: they offer it up to websites, leave it at checkouts, provide it over the phone and happily click “Yes” when asked for it on their mobile device. Customers know that their information is valuable, yet, they expect to get something in return for it.

With so many companies competing for our mind share, a generic “blast” approach to marketing simply doesn’t makes sense. New insights from a recent survey commissioned by SAS Canada have found that Canadians are happy to share information, but that they expect companies to return the favour with personalized offers, promotions and marketing materials. Not only do customers expect better offers, they also expect companies to market to them on their own terms: this means communicating with customers via their preferred channels, not the ones chosen by the company.

So what does all of this mean for businesses? It means tapping into power of consumer intelligence and customer preferences. It also means getting a better bang for your buck when it comes to marketing. But to be successful you need to have the right analytics tools in place to get value from the data Canadians are willing to give.

Customers are individuals

This needs to be the new mantra for everyone, from start-ups, to global enterprises. Today’s customers expect to be recognized for their worth, rewarded for their loyalty, and for companies to anticipate their needs. The SAS survey found that seventy-three per cent of Canadians say that when they share their private information, they expect to receive personalized offers in return. SAS analytics is the way to convert basic customer information into insight that can be leveraged to enrich the client experience.

Companies need analytics technology to ensure they can sort through mountains of data and pick out the right information to reach the right customer at the right time, down to the exact channel and offer.

The cost of marketing

Companies really have two choices: invest now, or lose money later. The stakes are high: fifty-two per cent of Canadians have actually stopped doing business with a company because of a bad marketing experience. This means that bad marketing isn’t just a missed opportunity, it can result in fewer customers coming in the door, or visiting your site. Poorly executed customer contact results in less brand consideration and decreased brand preference. It’s that simple. Companies who invest in analytics know that the real value of data comes when it is properly managed and deployed across an organization. Whether it’s an e-tailer, or bricks and mortar shop, customer analytics can help you learn more about your customers and engage with them in a relevant way that engenders loyalty. The numbers don’t lie: bad marketing can cost more than just wasted paper.

The medium is the message

When it comes to marketing, Canadians have spoken loud and clear: the overwhelming majority – 86 per cent – say they prefer companies that only communicate with them using their preferred channels. Knowing your customers means understanding what they want and how they want to receive it. Even in an age dominated by social media, 57 per cent of Canadians still prefer to receive offers via email, while 32 per cent still prefer flyers in the mail. SAS customer intelligence takes the intuition out of marketing and replaces it with scientific, customer-centric marketing intelligence. Unfortunately, many companies are still missing the mark when it comes to their marketing outreach. Ninety-three per cent of Canadians say they have divulged personal information to companies, but only 37 per cent feel they’re getting personalized material. In the 24/7 world of marketing to Canadians, be it in-person, online or across time zones, only analytics software can provide the tools to understand the medium and messages your customers want and expect.

Carpe diem

For the moment, Canadians are willing to share personal information, yet do not solicit lists are growing and customer’s demands of organizations are increasing. While 18 per cent of Canadians say they give away more information than they did five years ago, twenty-seven per cent say they now give away less. Regardless of how customer attitudes change in the future, data management and analysis will always be the front line in intelligent customer insights and marketing. Smart companies need to seize the day and get on board now, incorporating analytics capabilities to confront whatever the future holds.

For more, read this press release about the survey, or download the full report.

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