Customer Data Drives Marketing Success

November 18, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Brand Metrics | Creative & Formats | Data-driven | Technology

Proper access to and analysis of customer data is critical to marketing success, according to a new report from Aberdeen Group.

Top Performers More Likely to Have Data Access

aberdeen-customer-data-access-and-sales-sept10-nov10.gifResults of “Predictive Analytics – Driving Sales with Customer Insights” indicate that top performing marketing organizations are more likely to have access to different types of customer data. Dividing respondents into best-in-class (top 20% aggregate performance) and all others (including industry average with middle 50% industry performance and laggard with bottom 30% industry performance), the study shows that 77% of best-in-class organizations have access to all customer transactional data, compared to only 58% of other organizations.

In addition, 64% of best-in-class organizations have access to customer behavior data, compared to 53% of other organizations. Similar discrepancies exist in levels of access to internal unstructured data (55% compared to 39%) and external unstructured data (41% compared to 26%).

Aberdeen advises that access to customer data enables sales-enhancing activities such as modeling lifetime customer value, market segmentation, and prioritizing inbound sales leads.

Real-time Capabilities Enhance Data Mining

aberdeen-real-time-data-mining-sept10-nov10.gifBest-in-class organizations are much more likely to use real-time analytics collection (67%) than industry average (42%) or laggard (38%) organizations. In addition, best-in-class organizations have higher levels of using customer segmentation tools (65% compared to 62% and 49%, respectively) and automated rules-based process engines (45% compared to 35% and 32%, respectively).

It is interesting to note that both best-in-class and industry average organizations are performing customer segmentation at a much higher rate than laggards, but best-in-class companies significantly outperform all other respondents in both real-time analytics and automated rules-based process engines. This may reflect customer segmentation’s longer history as a mainstream marketing process which can be performed with comparatively simple technology.

Best-in-class More Likely to Apply Behavioral Scoring, Integrate Predictive Technologies

aberdeen-behavorial-scoring-customer-data-sept10-nov10.gifA comparative analysis of how frequently organizations apply behavioral scoring to customer data and integrate predictive technologies into forecasts shows more than 4 in 10 best-in-class respondents perform both these activities. In comparison, only about three in 10 industry average respondents perform both these activities, while three in 10 laggards apply behavioral scoring and a little more than two in 10 laggards integrate predictive technologies.

aberdeen-predictive-technologies-in-forecasts-sept10-nov10.gifAberdeen advises behavioral scoring can help marketers build a rich model of customer behavior which can increase sales and trim expenses, while predictive technologies can generate forecasts which in turn shape future forecasts and help determine organizational cost structure.

Best-in-class Dedicate Insight Teams

Compared to their peers, best-in-class respondents are more than twice as likely to dedicate a team to discover new customer insights (64% compared to 31% of industry average and laggard respondents), according to other study findings. Aberdeen analysis indicates that part of the reason for this discrepancy may be that best-in-class respondents have a greater wealth of data to plumb for insights, increasing the potential ROI of a dedicated team.

About the Data: Between January and September 2010, Aberdeen interviewed 121


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