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Data Asset

Using Digital Data to Retrofit Traditional Customer Acquisition Programs

By | Actionable Data, Big Data, Big Data Strategies, Customer Acquisition Programs, Data Asset, Data Collection, Data Integration, Data Management, Variety, Velocity, Volume | No Comments

Your company continually develops and executes customer acquisition programs to identify prospects that are in your “sweet spot.”  You have your regular lists that you employ to get a lift in your campaigns, but they seem to yield fewer leads as time goes on.  What would happen if you tapped the power of consumers’ voices?  What if you could identify and reach that “sweet spot?”  You can, and the information you need is waiting for you in the social web.

The Dynamic Power of Consumer Voices

Millions of conversations are constantly taking place in the social media sphere, many of which are referencing your products.  These conversations are an ever-changing dataset that point directly to your new prospects.  Imagine the possibilities of gaining up-to-the-minute prospects, real consumers eager to know more about your products.  Instead of using the same old go-to lists, find new prospects by listening to what they’re saying online.

Tapping into the Potential of Actionable Data

The information you’ll find in the social media sphere encompasses the “3 V’s of Big Data,” important characteristics that enable digital data to better inform your marketing and lead generation efforts:

  • Volume – Big Data boasts a depth of data beyond what traditional data sources can offer, offering companies significantly more valuable insights.
  • Velocity – The rate of change in Big Data is greater, given the dynamic nature of the Web, thus offering companies a look at consumer interests in real-time.
  • Variety – Big Data comes in many different formats, including video, web logs, geo-location information, all of which bring a depth unknown to traditional sources.

Harnessing consumers’ voices heard within the realm of Big Data will transform your customer acquisition programs.  By leveraging those Big Data sources that are most likely to have insights on the customers who are, or might be, interested in your products and services, enables you to better identify new prospects and understand their needs.  Analyzing the real-time consumer intent expressed online about your products and services will then allow you to convert more of those identified prospects to customers.  In addition to enhancing your ability to better identify and attract prospects within segments you’ve already identified, Big Data allows you to realize the potential of customers in previously unexplored segments.  In order to compete in the modern business world, companies need to retrofit their traditional customer acquisition programs with the enhanced analytic capabilities Big Data offers.

Leveraging Big Data for B2B Applications

By | Big Data, Big Data Strategies, Competitive Analysis Tool, Data Asset, Profit, Search Web, Social Web, Uncategorized, Web Crawling | No Comments

Much has been said about the power of digital data as applied to business-to-consumer (B2C) opportunities.  But what about business-to-business (B2B) opportunities?  Are you missing an important opportunity to integrate digital data into your marketing programs?  What are the techniques and methods for accessing and harnessing digital data for bottom-line improvement in B2B organizations?

With a new set of data comes a new dimension in opportunity.  The classic approach to obtaining data is through traditional information service providers.  Most often, the data is compiled from such sources as Yellow Pages®.  The challenge with these sets of data has been timeliness and comprehensiveness.  Now, however, there are new sources available, offering greater and more up-to-date quality, data.  They come in the form of such sources and methods as social networks, web crawling and monitoring, Internet browsing behavior, ad networks / exchanges, and crowdsourcing, to name a few.

New opportunities may be realized through the use of these new digital data assets, such as identifying what companies are in-market for your products and services, as well as identifying key decision makers in the companies important to your marketing efforts, with the budgets to buy your goods.  By obtaining complete and timely digital data, you’ll be better able to augment your marketing programs.

There are a variety of ways to obtain these new sets of data, and best delivery methods can be customized for your specific business needs.

For example, if a company selling cloud computing services wants tofind prospects for its services, Big Data can facilitate their identification and targeting.  Big Data techniques can monitor and analyze enormous volumes of publically-available information sources and glean from them the best prospects for a variety of IT services.  The applications are numerous and can support the following:

  • Discovering new companies in emerging markets based on their network activity
  • Tracking the installation of hardware and software via network usage/installation data
  • Prioritizing key customer accounts based on previously unknown network activity
  • Developing and discovering corporate linkage hierarchies by mapping shared network assets (such as use of a specific e-mail server common to multiple locations)
  • Mapping digital data assets to physical assets using DUNS Number

Clearly, the value of digital data isn’t specific to B2C companies; it certainly extends into the B2B sphere.  The key is in understanding the best ways to collect and use the data resources at your disposal.

Using Social Media to Gather Brand Data

By | Big Data, Big Data Strategies, CMO, Competitive Analysis Tool, Data Asset, Social Web, Uncategorized | No Comments

You need to be where your customers are – that’s an understatement.  With the exploding popularity of leading social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, there are a number of conversations taking place that are both directly and indirectly affecting your brand and your company’s reputation.  But how do you insert yourself into the conversation?  What’s the impact of your customers’ social interactions on your brand?  And how does being part of the conversation impact your revenues?

The voice of the customer fuels the power of the brand.

By monitoring the social conversations underway every hour of every day, you can identify your brand’s most passionate customers and energetic detractors across a wide range of social media platforms.  From such extensive monitoring, key learnings can be gained, including how those customers engage with other brands and what motivates and interests them to stay engaged.  These insights, combined with additional demographic data, allow for smarter modeling and analytics.  The more you know about prospects and customers, the better your strategy will be.  Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are conduits to a robust understanding of ways to enhance your brand.

Actionable brand data powers your marketing efforts.

New information from new sources will drive more effective marketing.  In turn, more effective marketing accelerates your organization’s path to additional revenue.  With a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of both your prospects and current customers, you can identify best practices for engagement with your brand on social media outlets, know what motivates your best brand advocates, and integrate the voice of the customer into your brand strategies.  Such steps lead to a more tailored marketing approach, allowing your organization to better reach and engage with key audiences and expand its existing customer base.

The conversations taking place on social media may seem at times to carry little business weight.  However, when closely monitored, they carry key insights about your target audiences and carry the potential to greatly increase your revenue stream.

Uncovering the Potential in Your Data

By | Big Data, Data Asset, Syndication | No Comments

The world of “Big Data” has become a very interesting place. As companies large and small mine their data repositories for new insights, a number of new and exciting opportunities are becoming apparent.  One opportunity that is too often overlooked is the fact that “Big Data” offers not only a new source of valuable insights for the company that owns the data — but it can also offer valuable insights to the company’s customers and prospects.

How does this work? Companies typically store transaction data from interactions with each of their customers in a database.  This information has value and is therefore referred to as a data asset.  Yet, access and use of this data asset is rarely provided to parties outside the company (such as customers, prospects and suppliers).

For example, if I sell an accounting system in a software-as-a-service model, I see as a by-product of delivering my service the individual financial transactions of my customers. Both the individual transactions and the identities of every customer are kept strictly confidential and are never disclosed. However, my database is rich with information that, when used in an aggregated and anonymized manner, could help me to identify valuable usage patterns among my best customers. That, in turn, can help me do a better job in targeting my prospects.

Furthering this concept, I may discover that companies with large physical inventories are better customers for me than companies that have no physical inventory. Armed with this knowledge, I will focus my future marketing efforts on prospects with large inventories. I will repeat this targeting analysis to continually refine my prospect universe– using my aggregated transaction data to refine my business decisioning.

Extending this approach one step further, I may decide to use this aggregated transaction data to provide a new decisioning resource to all of my customers. For example, I might be able to help one of my best customers determine that the number of days outstanding for their receivables was 10 days longer than the norm for businesses similar to theirs.So while my customer may have thought they were doing a great job on collections, my aggregated data could show them that they are, in fact, below the norm. This would be an insight that my customer could not derive from their data alone.

As a result, offering data from internal operations to outsiders (syndication) offers a large number of new and valuable insights.  These insights, when made available to your customer base become a key advantage of why a customer should do business with you and not your competitors. We call this approach “Collaborative Big Data.”  It is going to become a significant competitive advantage for companies that embrace it.

Employing data in this manner can create a valuable new revenue stream for the company that owns the aggregated data.  Not only does this approach create a competitive advantage for the firm, it can produce significant high-margin revenue. Potentially, you can charge your current customers for access to this unique and valuable decisioning data. In addition, there may be totally independent new markets that may want access to this new Collaborative Data asset and be willing to pay a premium price. It is an exciting process for every company to examine its transaction data and ask the question:  “Can I provide unique and valuable insights to my customers and others?”  If so, you are well on your way to a new, high-margin revenue stream.

One last but very important point is that all this must be done the right way, making the privacy concerns of all involved paramount. More importantly, the approach must be compatible with the company’s core business. It’s irresponsible to try to make money on the backs of our customers.  Instead, this offers a way to deliver them added value.

We need to develop applications that benefit our customers. The first rule for Dr. Data is to do no harm.

-Dr. Charles Stryker