Reading Between the Data: It’s All in the Details

What do you know about your best customers? What makes them buy?

I ask this question a lot. How would you answer?

I recently worked on creating mobile strategies for two client teams: a grocery chain and a department store. While the marketers at these businesses share the goal of using mobile messaging to increase in-store revenue and to retain loyal customers, the two businesses couldn’t be more different in their resources or their approach to targeting their audiences.

The Intuitive Grocery Store

“I know when someone starts buying diapers and baby food that I’ll be seeing a lot more of them.”

The grocery marketer didn’t have a data scientist assessing customer purchase patterns. He did however, have years of experience in the grocery industry. He observed new parents are desperate and too tired to stray across town for last-minute supplies. Picking up diapers (oh, and we’re out of milk!) on the way home from work translates to increased cart size over time.

The customer wasn’t the trigger — instead, it was what they frequently bought. Even without integration to its loyalty program or point of sale, the grocery brand’s marketer was able to tag the action of purchasing baby food and diapers. This meant mobile users who showed this repeat behavior received targeted messages for baby products and pre-made dinner items to encourage a nice, easy night in.

The Data Savvy Department Store

“I know that when a customer stops at our café for a coffee or lunch while shopping that they buy more on that visit.”

The department store marketer possessed extensive, data-driven insights and an analytics team who had identified this specific customer action as yielding a larger cart size. Our mobile messaging task was to amplify this behavior.

For example,after a mobile customer spent time in store, the store could send a notification offering a coffee coupon, encouraging the shopper to take a break offers another positive store experience, and perhaps the chance to consider additional purchases.

Marketing to Your Customers is an Ongoing Story

Whether you have a full data team or can rely on your own intuitive insight, you can use data to make your messaging meet your customer’s mobile moment of need.

Are there points of need online, or in the physical world, where user action can trigger a positive reaction for your brand? Or where you can help your user build a new habit through your mobile messaging?

1) Do more with what you already have and know. Both of these marketers worked with the tools available to them to identify audience segments that could move the needle on their business objectives.

2) The human element and experience matters in making sense of data. The grocery marketer drew on years of audience knowledge — that’s a solid starting place for a hypothesis.

3) Look for positive patterns that can be turned into habit. Some purchases might not be influenced by traditional marketing. Weather, holidays, brand perception, or stopping for a coffee and remembering an additional item you were supposed to pick up, could be impacting your sales. Time of visit, and whether your customer is a planner or impulse shopper are other triggers that can be used.

The department store marketer had the advantage of a smart data team that searched for behavioral trends. Are there triggers in your business (or even in your mobile app) that might impact sales, consideration or loyalty?

Bottom Line

There is art, as well as science, in using data effectively. Draw relationships between actions and cause. Pair data insights with a human element as you map your user’s journey and the experiences your messaging triggers. And don’t forget to unite it across your existing business systems.

To learn more about integrating data into your mobile strategy, check out our whitepaper “Win the Battle For Your Customers with Data.”