Marketing departments across enterprises often catch on a particular phrase and they hardly let go of it until it becomes sour. However, customer analytics is something that hardly seems to be outdated and more importantly, has gone beyond the monopoly of marketing. Once upon a time, marketing departments would take up limited amount of data and then apply analytics to ensure that there is a measure of likeliness of product purchase for every product. However, it evolved slowly to be measured against page hits, cookie usage and online periods etc.
However, when the social media revolution erupted during the late 2000’s, it was time for everyone to experience a new form of marketing altogether where all brands had the equal opportunity to make themselves visible and more importantly, come in direct contact with people. Briefly, this forms the early history of customer analytics which descends from Oracle and Tera data. However, its evolution has taken it to a different paradigm altogether recently, resulting in renewed enthusiasm regarding it across various fields.
The relevance question
Often, business that used to do well in the offline and even in the early days of online domain, suddenly face a strange scenario. If you are not ensuring enough online presence, you might as well fall out of favour and within no time, you may drop from the list of popular players in that particular field. Nowadays, a customer equipped with digital devices leave so many imprints behind that it becomes difficult for even companies to keep track of them.
Moreover, customers, along with their devices, have become smarter than ever, so they are already informed about the brands, their specifications, their advantages and many other aspects. Customers are more connected than ever and hence, data sharing becomes easier too. So, for a company to maintain its old glory, it has to ensure that the customer knows that it is the best. Hence, if it does not stay within the purview of customer discussions, the company may well face extinction within years.
A deluge of data
The amount of data that comes to a company nowadays is so enormous that you have to know what to take and what to leave out. Surely, customer analytics can now provide insights that you must never have thought of and hence, customer retention and attraction can surely have better strategies across departments. In fact, such data can reveal information about customers in a way that allows companies to enter the private spaces that the customer inhabits. Few companies are yet ready to create a proper storage space for such huge amount of data.
While some of them are still using warehouses, many are trying to follow a hybrid cloud model so as to ensure that their data is readily available and they don’t have to invest a lot of on-premise infrastructure. In fact, there is a lot of confusion among companies regarding the decision of key metrics. While predictive analytics is quite a rage already, what customer analysis tries to provide is a 360 degree view of the customer so that every possible form of customer interaction is explored in detail.
Doing things faster
Customer analytics banks upon the speed of operation a lot and hence, they hardly go through segmentation and sampling. Moreover, cloud based platforms allow a huge degree of scalability and hence, cloud has helped analytics to evolve from predictive to prescriptive forms. Companies are not satisfied with knowing the future and the course of action that will affect it positively. They want to know if such actions will have collective impact on customer or sporadic ones.
Some of the various ways of doing it includes customer data acquisition, finding suspects with higher propensity and using big data ideas to create relationship networks. This hyper level of personification of products through customer analytics is further accompanied by progress in the field of Artificial Intelligence so that the customer knows where the product of choice may be located. Surely, the very concept of customer is undergoing radical shift through a completely new analysis of the cognitive aspects of it. Hence, customer is the new god of the enterprise heaven and may well remain so if one has to go by the predictions.