As new customers are acquired, a wise strategy is to ask how they would like to be contacted: Direct mail? Email? Phone? Follow this up with uncovering how often they want to be contacted. Is daily too much? What about weekly or monthly? Let customers tell you what they want to hear about, how they would like you to communicate and how frequently. As each customer is acquired, keep track of the originating data source. This may be direct mail, email, a store walk-in or reference from a friend.
3. Organize Customer Data to Make It Easily Accessible for Analysis and Predictive Modeling.
In a world of Big Data, everything is captured including transactions, demographics, online cookies, retail store purchases, social interactions, inbound customer service calls and the list goes on. While data is valuable, without organization it can drown any marketing effort. For example, we may have thousands of pieces of information, but when we want to segment or describe our customers, we struggle. Many organizations delegate questions about customers to their business intelligence analysts, who access it with tools like SAS, SPSS, Tableau and Spotfire. However, many overlook another key role: identifying someone to organize the information to make it consumable.
Where to start?
A. Conduct a Data Audit. What data is currently available? Where is it stored? How far back does it go?
B. Organize the Information With a Singular Focus—to get a view of the individual customer not the campaign. For example, how long has she been a customer? How many and what type of products has she purchased? How frequently? How many times has she called customer service? How many marketing touches has she received—and did she respond?
C. Create a Marketing Universe. This task involves connecting contact data to all past marketing history. Summarize transactions using time-series information. For example, how many contacts were made during the past three months? The past year? How many times did marketing elicit a response?
By now, you've probably discovered this is a lot of work. While it may be overwhelming, this is the gold mine. Nobody said mining gold is easy or cheap; however, once the initial investment is made, the payoff is huge.