Using customer data and insights to develop more tailored experiences hasn’t got any easier for marketers. In fact, what digital marketers cited as barriers to their ability to deliver y experiences in 2019 — including leveraging customer data and insights and aligning messaging to customers’ channel preference — is even more challenging in 2021 (see Digital Marketing Survey 2021, Part 2: Old Challenges Persist as New Disruptive Forces Emerge — Gartner subscription required).

The amount of data isn’t the issue — typically, we find that organisations have a lot of data. But having more data doesn’t equate with being more effective at understanding customers. However, a different approach to what you listen for and learn from your existing customer data will.

One such approach is to utilise your social marketing efforts. Social media has been a channel that proved to be critical in keeping brands connected with their customers throughout a year of shifts, disruption, and change. In fact, when asked what channels were most effective at meeting their objectives across the last 12 months, social ranked in the top two across all marketing goals. Each of those goals also map back to different stages in the customer journey, such as buy, own, and advocate.

Customers use social media to engage with your brand directly and with each other, providing an unbridled view of how they perceive their experiences. Customers also use social media to converse at every stage of their journey with and about your brand. To start, look for the following three themes in your customer data that can help you to tailor the way that your brand responds, engages, or expands your relationship with customers:

  1. Hacks Customers speaking about how they may be fulfilling a need outside of what you are offering, but using your products in a new way to fulfil that need themselves.
  2. Hardships Customer woes that are frequently discussed between customers that relate to a specific part of the customer journey with your brand.
  3. Happiness Customers communicating about what they appreciate about your brand to others, want more of and would recommend.

Also see Using Social Media to Improve Customer Experience (Gartner subscription required).

So before you make the move to add more data, pause, and consider revisiting what you have with a new perspective.

This article is reproduced with permission of Gartner

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