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“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
As international author and management consultant Peter Drucker noted, great marketing is not about perfecting the hard sell, it’s about perfecting the easy sell. Instinctively we all know this. The better you know somebody, the easier it is to give them something they want, when they want it.
However, to date the means to capture and efficiently analyze enough important information about customers to fulfil this task has been difficult. Information about customers’ habits, attitudes, preferences and buying patterns has often been limited in breadth and depth, and often retrospective rather than in or near real-time. While it is useful to have last month’s sales figures or past purchasing patterns, there is the potential for older data to be misleading without additional context.
Now, thanks to the rise of big data and accessibility of visual analytics, it is possible to get better and easier value from analyzing data by blending together a wider range of data sources, enabling a much richer view of context.
Thanks to the rise of big data and accessibility of visual analytics, it is possible to get better and easier value from analyzing data by blending together a wider range of data sources, enabling a much richer view of context
Central to success is the use of data visualization to bring order into the mountains of data organizations now collect and have access to. In addition to traditional structured information about purchasing history and habits, data analytics needs to incorporate unstructured data such as social sentiment, and information that’s external to the individual, such as environment or location, to provide a much more granular understanding of customer actions or potential actions.
Sophisticated data visualization tools are now more readily available and can be accessed efficiently via the cloud. Oracle’s Data Visualization Cloud Service, for example, can enable the easy manipulation and blending of any Excel based data via a web browser, giving any level of marketer a much clearer understanding of their information. The key benefit of this being the potential insights that can be delivered about not only specific customers purchasing patterns, but also about what influenced them, what they did pre- and post-purchase, and what might encourage them to make new or different purchases in future. Data visualization provides far greater opportunities than ever before to spot trends, segment markets, test and learn from new strategies, and deliver a personalized user experience to multiple channels.
Data visualization provides far greater opportunities than ever before to spot trends, segment markets, test and learn from new strategies, and deliver a personalized user experience to multiple channels.
Marketers are getting this access to insights not a moment too soon. In almost every sector they are under more pressure than ever before. Research from Aberdeen Group, who surveyed hundreds of B2B and B2C organizations, found that 96 percent of CMOs are unsatisfied with their ability to use customer data to orchestrate buyer journeys.
Existing customers have also never been so valuable: Aberdeen Group found that retaining existing customers was a top goal for 80 percent of CMOs. Yet those customers have also never been so fickle, courted as they are on all sides by a growing number of competitors, from established brands to start-ups.
Added to the need for a stronger defensive game, today’s marketers must also ensure they are as aggressive on the offence as the brands they seek to ward off. The need to continually raise awareness in new markets, to communicate new offerings as they diversify and to reach new customers through a growing range of online and offline channels is intense. The short attention span of customers, and their unwillingness to tolerate badly targeted information, only makes the need to get things right first time more acute.
Big data analytics and data visualization democratizes access to this information across the organization, so that individuals across different departments can question it and generate new business ideas. As our recent industry expert webcast featuring Gartner highlights, a major benefit of today’s business applications is that visual analytics capabilities can be embedded, ensuring that any line of business can generate insights as a matter of course.
Those brands that are able to create a unified view of how customers interact with them across every channel and touchpoint and can develop a clear picture of what those customers want will be the brands most likely to succeed in an age of big data-driven marketing.
Those brands that are able to create a unified view of how customers interact with them across every channel and touchpoint and can develop a clear picture of what those customers want will be the brands most likely to succeed in an age of big data-driven marketing. Visual analytics, made easily accessible via the cloud, are the key to setting free the crucial information marketers need to generate competitive advantage and meet the goal defined by Peter Drucker.
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