It's 2012, Do You Know Who Your Customer Is?

It boggles the mind that in 2012 there are still marketers out there who don’t capture the most basic of customer data such as name, mailing address and email address, but that’s precisely what is happening.

Earlier this year I wrote a story for titled How To Rein In The Riches Of Big Data which dealt with the fact that according to a 2011 IBM study of more than 1,700 chief marketers worldwide, consumers now create as much information every two days as they did from the dawn of civilisation to 2003. Let that sink in for a minute.

But the data I am referring to today is not the massive influx of data that is now available for dissemination and use, but is the most basic, rudimentary knowledge every marketer should be capturing.

Last week I told of a joint  survey conducted by Acxiom and Loyalty360 which served as the basis for my article You’re Too Complacent To Keep Your Customers .

It is from that same far reaching survey which I reference today.

From the findings:

“Collecting the right data helps brands create and deliver messages that are relevant, timely (desired frequency), through the proper channel and personalised which, research has shown, increases the response rate and strengthens the customer/brand relationship. This pro-active process leads to a more value laden, multi-beneficial dialogue, allowing the brand to assess true customer sentiment.”

That is dead on in describing the need to collect data.

So how do you explain:

  • The 2% of respondents who do not even capture name, address and email? (yes I realise it’s “only” 2% but that’s still 2% too many)
  • The 14% who do not track nor plan to track transaction data?
  • The 40% who have no plans to track basic demographic data such as household size and income?
  • The 11% who do not collect mobile phone numbers?
  • The 36% who do not collect customer feedback/survey data?
  • The over 60% who do not collect nor plan to collect their customers’ social media handles?

I realise every marketer is not the same and some are larger budgets than others but this is, again, not the massive amount of data I am referring to. It is the kind of data that should form the core of any campaign.

How do you not even capture the name, address and email address of your customer? That one still gets me searching for the nearest wall to commence the banging of my head upon it. Ok, maybe you’re not computer savvy and can’t create a database of your customers. Tell you what, go to the nearest stationery store, get some 3×5 cards and start writing down the names and addresses of your customers on them. At least that’s something.

In the aforementioned article You’re Too Complacent To Keep Your Customers I made reference to the fact that far too may marketers do not who their most valuable and loyal customers are.

And while it is of course important to know your most valuable and loyal customers, it is significantly more vital and essential to know who they are in the first place.

Hard to believe that in 2012 that that sentence even needs to be written.

Sources: CMO.comAcxiom Loyalty360

Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology ReviewSteve Olenski is a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via email,TwitterLinkedIn or his website.

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