How To Leverage Data To Identify Customer Value

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If you feel like you’re drowning in data, you’re not alone.   According to researchers at UC – San Diego, in 2008 the world’s servers processed 9.57 zettabytes of data.

That is essentially the equivalent of a 5.6-billion-mile-high stack of books from Earth to Neptune and back to Earth, repeated about 20 times a year. To say we’re drowning in data would be an understatement; we’re at the bottom of Atlantis.

Just over the past decade alone, the proliferation of new technology and channels has produced a mindboggling amount of unstructured data that has left many marketers feeling increasingly overwhelmed and underwater. 

The recent explosion of social media and mobile has generated massive streams of data. As time goes on, this information grows exponentially, and it becomes difficult to leverage. More than anytime before, marketers are feeling pressure to turn all of this information into something valuable, but they are not always sure what to do with all of it, or what it all really means.

At its core, data should be used to identify a customer’s immediate needs, wants and desires. Ultimately, it should define a customer’s economic value to any given promotion. Unfortunately, many marketers are missing the mark; relying solely on demographic and psychographic data, registration data, order records, and the like, as a way to establish the likelihood of buying a product, signing up for a service or making a donation.

Instead marketers should leverage all of their data to calculate the true economic value that their customer represents for a given product, service or item during the time frame of interest to a marketer – be it today, next week or even next season. These valuations are the most elemental expression of a consumer’s economic place in the world and provide marketers with a clear understanding of their revenue potential. I founded Proclivity Systems to help marketers understand what their customers are really worth to their business on any given day.      

To accomplish this, Proclivity’s Customer Valuation Platform™ makes good use out of the vast amounts of information our clients own about their consumers including detailed product/service data, extensive micro-behaviours spanning several years observed on their Web sites, search data, offline point-of-sale data, campaign response data, social network data, as well as external market data sources.

Proclivity’s technology platform continuously evaluates this data to derive valuations for each consumer, based on his or her interest or likelihood to purchase a particular product during a particular timeframe, at a particular price-point.

For example, if a merchant sells bathing suits, each of their customers will have a potential valuation for specific bathing suits based on any number of factors. How often they’ve searched, browsed or tweeted about a specific style of bathing suit at specific price interaction will effect their valuation to said item. These valuations, as one would expect, are constantly changing based on a wide array of factors – seasonality, economic conditions, life stage, etc.

Proclivity’s ability to calculate a customer’s valuation for a specific item means that marketers are no longer faced with generalising (or guessing) someone’s purchase intent, but can hone in on a particular level of interest in a specific channel and identify its representative economic value to maximise conversion and revenues.

One of the most powerful benefits of Proclivity’s technology platform is the ability to derive valuations based on existent ones through transitive models. For example, Proclivity can calculate a customer’s valuation to a bed and bath in Turks and Caicos or to a bottle of sunscreen based on their valuation to a bathing suit.  

There are a multitude of products and services that can be associated with this particular customer. This opens up vast opportunity for marketers to offer products and services that might otherwise be overlooked. There is no limit to the number and kind of valuations that can be connected, creating opportunities for diverse businesses to find new consumers through each other.

Data should be used to enlighten us about our customers’ most basic needs. It should help marketers engage in meaningful conversations and it be reflected in our core marketing strategy, from media buying to creative design. At Proclivity, we’re doing this everyday; helping our clients understand the billion-plus ways their customers are going to shop and spend. This level of engagement benefits everyone, from the CMO to merchandisers, and most importantly, to the customer.–SG

Editor’s Note: Proclivity Systems Founder and CEO Sheldon Gilbert will be a featured presenter at “MESA Presents: The New Marketing maths [Data = Dollars]” on Thursday May 19 in NYC.

This post originally appeared at MESA Global.