Selling with big data

Got good data? Here’s how you get great marketing

Jori Messer, Regus

Customer’s first, you see that emblazoned on lots of signs. How many companies really put their customers first though? A customer centric, data driven approach really is the only way to ensure that you’re consistently improving retention and staying ahead of the competition.

Understanding how your customers feel about your services is more than just a touchy feely HR excersize, it’s essential to your strategy. “I think it comes back to the essential reason as to why we want the data. To improve our business decisions. Too many decisions get made on intuition and gut feeling, rather than numbers, research and facts.” says Jori (Director APAC, Regus)

Using customer insights to create more relevant messaging

After running a survey with Survey Monkey, using an audience panel of 1000, they discovered that there were a lot of people that weren’t familiar with the brand. The survey delved into what influenced their choice of workspace. “That data helped us translate and change the messaging to specifically mention those aspects. What ‘they were looking for needed to be in the messaging, so that we could create that ‘click’.” Jori emphatically says “Knowing what your customer is looking for is critical to getting your messaging right.”

“The survey highlighted that we need to be heavily localized. Locally relevant.” Whilst many brands have a global identity, knowing who you’re serving in each local market, what their needs are, and how you can adjust your messaging to them, is very important.

As an example of how their messaging has changed, their previous (Google AdWords) campaigns had language that was focused on their global network. That has since been changed to talk about their local branch network first and only mention their global network at the end. The exercise paid off, with the localized advert content driving measurably more leads and better conversions.

The insights from the survey, and positive results from their initial localization efforts – have had an impact on their marketing across the board. There’s been change in everything from their marketing photography (using local models), to the text copy (local emphasis, local place names), right down to the keywords and core messages (why their customers buy their services in a particular country).

Your customers already know what they want

Customer feedback can have an impact well beyond just your messaging though. Your customer feedback can be leveraged to drive improvement across your business. Don’t just use one customers fancy ideas though – real insights are grounded in solid data from thousands of clients. It should hopefully feature helpful data points like “percentage of customers interested”, and weighted opinions on “would probably buy”. Which is why asking the right questions, and conducting a proper analysis on the traditional ‘feedback form’ is more important than ever before.

Customer feedback is a mountain of wealth. Use it not just to improve existing services, but as a key driver to introduce entirely new products. “It’s why we decided to partner with WiFi hotspot & airline lounge providers.”

So what does this mean for your marketing & your business?

Do not underestimate the value of data. Investigate. Even if you have an instinct, and a wealth of industry experience. Your investigation doesn’t need to be complicated, just ask a few hundred people and look for clear trends. A bigger audience is better, but a clear trend doesn’t really change with varying sample sizes. Good customer data will give your marketing clear direction, if you’re start-up it might even give you clear business direction. As Jori says “Before you build a product, build customers. Be product minded. We see a lot of startups build products, assuming that once they launch they’ll acquire customers – only to realize that they have a product no one wants. I think its essential that you know who your customers are, and those customers that you test how they respond to the product ideas, whether they’ll purchase, and whether your product solves the customers problem.”