Big companies don’t rely on guesses or generalities when it comes to sales and marketing. The more precisely they can pinpoint buying behavior, the happier they are and the more they are willing to invest in the tools that will allow them to perfect their strategy.
That’s why more advertising dollars are flowing to the Internet; and banks are doing everything possible to get you to buy with a debit card. Every interaction you have online and every purchase you make with digital currency is completely traceable, so overtime when all that data is merged, who you are and your specific tastes and preferences become very clear.
With this information, marketers can create the right messages to sell their products and services—and they can develop their next offerings based on emerging trends, not whims. (I’ll share more about this with specific examples in my next column.)
It’s not just big, savvy, profit-seeking companies using marketing analysis to deliver the right message in the right place to their target customer. Even President Obama’s campaign is planning to use data mining and analysis to win another victory in 2012.
Big brother factor aside, the nugget that entrepreneurs and small businesses can take from this behavior is: Build predictability into your business by paying attention to customer patterns. Then use those insights to drive your marketing, sales and customer service strategy.
We often operate from our gut; and I understand that. Yes, our subconscious and spirit are smart, well-informed tools, too. But the world is a crowded, noisy and distracting place — and as emotional beings we are fickle, so every day in your business when people buy or don’t buy and respond or don’t respond to a marketing message, you should be keeping track of what’s happening and why. Over time, patterns will emerge. Those repeat questions or requests, standard comments or complaints that irk you? You should actually rejoice about them. The huge responses or lack of response from your customers is directional signage that points you toward a predictable paycheck for your business because your customers are telling you exactly what they want to buy.