Tips & Tricks

33 Experts Reveal the Most Valuable Customer Insights Companies can get from Business Analytics

Enterprises are making use of business analytics more than ever before, but with myriad options to consider – let alone thousands of metrics to measure and analyze – it’s not always immediately clear what insights companies should be focused on. It’s actually quite easy to get lost in the sea of Big Data, leaving valuable information on the table that could transform your marketing and sales operations and boost your bottom line.

Business analytics solutions are designed to help enterprises make sense of the sheer volume of data their organizations are generating and collecting. But even with these solutions, marketers sometimes struggle with understanding precisely how to turn data into actionable insights. To gain some clarity, we asked a panel of business analytics and data-driven marketing professionals to answer this question:

“What is the most valuable piece of customer insight/information companies can gain from their business analytics?”

We’ve compiled their responses below into this comprehensive guide explaining the most valuable customer insights enterprises gain from implementing business analytics.

Find out what our experts had to say below.

Meet Our Panel of Business Analytics and Data-Driven Marketing Pros:

 


David FergusonDavid Ferguson

@5000fish

David Ferguson is the CEO & Founder of 5000fish, a company that enables companies to improve their business processes by leveraging their existing business data. David is the Chief Visionary for Yurbi, the dashboard and reporting solution for growing businesses. He has been helping companies convert data into intelligence for 17+ years.

“The most valuable piece of customer insight you can gain from business analytics is…”

Customer satisfaction and the likelihood that they will continue to be your customer. There are a variety of ways you can glean this insight and the exact methods will depend on the types of products and services you provide and the level of communication you have with your customers.

One of the easiest ways to get customer feedback is the NPS survey. The NPS survey asks one simple question: “How likely are you to recommend {your product or service} to a friend?” The customer will rank you on a scale of 1-10 and provide an optional explanation. By posing this question to customers on a regular basis you can gauge their satisfaction with your offerings and take proactive action should the signals start to decline.

You can also leverage your existing data to get indirect feedback on customer adoption and happiness which both factor into repeat business and customer loyalty. Those include tapping into your Customer Management system and analyzing the frequency, severity, and average closure times of support inquiries. By analyzing data and correlating data against the patterns of customers who have not renewed in the past you can glean insights on potential red flags. You might find that customers who are not actively engaged and not contacting your support team are the ones you need to focus on.

A third tip, specific to software companies that have access to software usage data, is to monitor if activity levels in the software have increased or decreased and again correlate this information against past trends and NPS scores to build a profile of what is a happy and active customer vs. a customer who is about to walk out the door.


Ian Lam Ian Lam

Ian Lam is the co-founder of Cohesion.sg, a provider of Team Building games featuring Bubble Soccer, Archery Tag and Laser Tag.

“The most important insights that can be gained from business analytics include…”

Consumer demand data is a huge part of our business processes. Consumer demand is analyzed by the session to help our managers come up with effective pricing schemes for our non-peak and peak periods. These often have a big impact on our bottom line as we are able to effectively shift our customers around during our peak periods and manage our peak capacities.


Jason JaslowJason Jaslow

@perfectlyinvite

Jason Jaslow is the owner and founder of Perfectly Invited, a company that prints and designs custom wedding invitations.

“The best insights I ever got from business analytics were from…”

Tracking every search term entered on my website. It enabled two things:

1. Being able to better add new products that are trending.

2. For products that I can’t easily design on our website, we can link the customers to either our Etsy store (for a quick fix until we can add the product to the site) or direct them to a consultation with a graphic designer for a custom design project.


Nenad ĆukNenad Ćuk

@Davinci_Virtual

Nenad Cuk is a digital marketing specialist working in house for Davinci Virtual. He handles the companies SEO, content development, website analysis, and outreach marketing. Originally from Croatia, he has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years.

“The most valuable piece of customer insight/information companies can gain from their business analytics is…”

What channels are growing and bringing in business vs. channels that are slowing or falling. Companies that have good tracking in place should be able to see where their marketing efforts are working. Whether this is TV, radio, banners, sponsorships, affiliate programs, paid ads, billboards, social, or any other marketing channels, companies can gain information on what kind of return they are getting for each $100 or $1,000 spent.


David WatermanDavid Waterman

@SEOWaterman

David Waterman is a seasoned digital marketing professional with over 12 years of experience. He works with large brands across various industries to help them establish digital strategies that will grow their business and brand visibility through his role as Senior Director of Earned Media at The Search Agency.

“Business Analytics is key to overall success and growth. One of the most valuable consumer data sets a business can have is…”

Marketing channel attribution. Knowing how all of your marketing channels (both offline and online) work together to drives sales/brand engagement is vital to growing your business. It allows you to better invest your marketing dollars and not solely focus on last-click attribution, which can help maintain business objectives but not necessarily grow them.


Rick ArmstrongRick Armstrong

@QBProConsulting

Rick Armstrong is not your typical CPA; he decided long ago that taxes and auditing would not be his niche. Rick has dedicated his career to developing innovative solutions to business problems utilizing the latest, best-of-breed accounting technologies. His expertise and unique skills in accounting and technology help organizations maximize their IT investment, with QuickBooks as well as Virtual Server Networks, and the latest new applications such as QuickBooks Online, Bill.com, Method CRM, Smartvault, Expensify. His dedication to client satisfaction is paramount to his business mission.

He is the founder of QB Pro Consulting and an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Rick’s out of the box approach and business experience help business owners with their accounting and IT issues, while allowing them to focus on business success. Rick has over a decade of experience in the accounting field working with SMBs and mid-sized organizations.

“The valuable insights that companies can gain from business analytics tools depends on…”

The type of software that is being utilized, as there are a plethora of options in the BI space today. One of the more popular BI trends is centered around client data as organizations are adopting customer-centric methods. This type of BI is commonly referred to as customer intelligence and can be derived from internal or external data mining. One of the more valuable pieces of information would be visitor data on specific webpages, length of time viewing, and number of visits. This information can be used not only to set up value pricing but can also trigger sales teams on customer interest level for follow up.


Nicole PrauseNicole Prause

@NicoleRPrause

Nicole Prause received her Ph.D. in Clinical Science with a concentration in statistics. She has worked as a statistician in academia and Data Scientist in industry for ten years and founded Liberos, LLC.

“The most valuable information companies can gain from business analytics is…”

A properly fitted churn model, more than just the average customer duration, gives a more complete picture of customer’s relationship with the company. If your new customers are actually mostly returning after several months’ lapse, you may be grossly overspending on acquisition over retention.

Do not segment on what they taught you in business school. Leaders often seem compelled to divide customers in a way that is completely unsupported by data, such as cluster analyses, that will leave you spinning your wheels trying to please a customer segment that does not exist.

Most website changes will produce no change in conversions. I know this is heartbreaking to designers, but I have seen many companies torturing their numbers to try to discover tiny, unreplicable effects. Novelty alone seems to be somewhat useful,but it does suggest investments in design might not have the direct financial return that the company expects them to have.


Jeremy Codiroli Jeremy Codiroli

@JCodiroli

Jeremy Codiroli is the CEO and Lead Analyst for Sensum Consulting. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Sensum Consulting strengthens clients by applying complex analytics to creatively convert raw data into actionable insights.

“Many customers would benefit tremendously from doing their own…”

Forecasting of demand, and many suppliers use analytics to calculate their own customers’ demand on a macro level. But as a supplier, something that can result in a huge win-win is applying demand forecasting at a more detailed customer level. This complex layer of detail can result in proactively reaching out to customers to suggest they’re just about due for a replenishment. When done correctly, the customer will more than likely appreciate this increased service in helping them manage their stocking levels. This also results in the supplier being able to level out their demand and decrease unforeseen spikes that may disrupt the supply chain.


Max CronMax Cron

@maxcron

Max is a creative strategy director at Online Optimism, a New Orleans based Internet Marketing team.

“Analytics are by far the best way to understand and rework a company’s…”

Current business strategies and efforts. These dynamic analytics basically tell us how our business is functioning in reality versus how we think it is going to function. We are able to explore demographics, sales funnels, and dead ends. Analytics helps us visually understand how users interact with our brand and allows us to reposition ourselves with changing audiences, products, or industry environments. The most valuable piece of customer insight to be gained from business analytics is learning the key point in the sales cycle at which potential customers drop out of your sales funnel. It could be before they reach out for more technical information. It could be between the sales pitch and the close, or even between the decision and the purchase action. Analyzing what stops customers from making the converting action is a great way to increase sales and business overall. Improving the most vulnerable steps in the sales process can have a tenfold increase in returns.


James McDonaldJames McDonald

@LYONSCG

James McDonald is a Senior Digital Consultant – Analytics, Marketing and Strategy at Lyons Consulting Group (LYONSCG). As a promoter of data-driven storytelling and analytical business cultures, James leads the company’s efforts for insights and optimization for the firm’s eCommerce clients. In his role, he works directly with clients on optimization conversion, A/B and multivariate testing, and other analytic programs. He was named a Rising Start of the Profession by Consulting magazine in 2015.

“Companies can gain many insights from business analytics, but the most valuable is…”

Understanding how digital marketing informs the customer journey, which is key to a brand’s success. There are a multitude of data points that create visibility into this relationship, but a great starting point is the path length and time lag to conversion. Observing these trends will let you know how many times a user visits your site before purchase, and the duration of time between their initial contact and conversion. After you understand how long this path is, you can start to correlate marketing channels to each step, allowing you to understand, and optimize your marketing mix.


Rosemary Brisco Rosemary Brisco

@totheweb

Rosemary Brisco founded ToTheWeb in 1995 and since that time, has been delivering high-impact results to her clients. She and her team of online marketing experts work with B2B companies in the San Francisco Bay Area to drive more sales leads to client websites.

“The most valuable piece of customer insight or information that companies can gain from their business analytics is…” 

Where are your buyers coming from? Tools like Google Analytics can identify your best sources of traffic that drive real customers – visitors who take an action that you have set up as a goal conversion – to your website.

Once you identify these important lead generation sources, you can work work to improve landing page conversion by experimenting with different offers. We’ve seen conversion rates jump by almost 40% by testing new design elements, offers, and content.

To get this right, Google Analytics must be setup and configured correctly or you’ll be making important decisions based on faulty data. Having your webmaster paste in a snippet of code is only the beginning of the analytics implementation process.

Armed with this data, you can take meaningful action to drive more customers to your website.


Edward Sturm Edward Sturm

@Edward_Sturm

Edward Sturm is a digital video and image producer. His creations have earned him tens of millions of views and have gotten him on television shows such as 20/20, Good Morning America, and The Today Show, as well as in publications such as The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, and The Verge.

“The most valuable insight that companies can gain from business analytics is…”

Learning what doesn’t work is the greatest way to learn what does work. Looking at heat-maps for pages, click through rates for links and images, and seeing where users are bouncing is one of the best, if not the greatest thing you can do to improve your user experience. You A/B test where users are getting bored, learn what works, and throw away what doesn’t. Over time your user experience smooths out and becomes very pleasant. I’d recommend Crazy Egg for heat-maps and click through rates and then Google Analytics for all other web analytics.


Sumit NijhawanSumit Nijhawan

@Infogix

Sumit Nijhawan is the CEO and President at Infogix, where he is responsible for leading company strategy, operations and customer partnerships. Sumit joined the company in 2004 as the head of the products group. Under Sumit’s leadership, Infogix introduced its suite of automated controls solutions for distributed environments. Sumit received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and chemistry from Coe College and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Brown University. He also attended the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.

“The most valuable piece of customer information available to companies thanks to business analytics is…”

To detect when a customer may be close to leaving. We all know it is much cheaper to retain a customer than to attract a new one, so it is important to know when a customer may be thinking about leaving. If you know that they are considering leaving you can take the proper steps to retain them. Predictive analytics can help with these types of predictions.


Lingke WangLingke Wang

@ovidlife

Lingke Wang is the Co-Founder of Ovid Corp, a life insurance settlements company. Wang oversees Ovid’s marketing and analytics.

“Because our business is predominately a technology and web business, our primary business analytics are…”

Our website metrics. We use Heap Analytics to track user behavior which then offers deep insights into our conversion metrics. One of the best pieces of information we learn from this process is our cost per conversion from various marketing channels. We carefully track each of our marketing efforts using Heap and are able to quickly determine which channels are most effective by looking at conversion rates down our sales funnel. This has been immensely impactful for our business because we can A/B test ideas and quickly weed out ineffective strategies.


Lauren FellureLauren Fellure

@SnapMobileIO

Lauren Fellure is a Partner | Growth with Snap Mobile, a company that designs and builds professional iOS and Android mobile apps for a flat fee.

“The most valuable piece of information companies can gain from business analytics is…”

Determining the element that leads to the highest user activation rate (i.e., the element that tips free or trial users to paying or registered users). Often this is called the ‘aha’ moment. As an example: For Facebook, this occurs when a user gains 10 friends within 7 days; for Twitter, this occurs when a user follows 30 people.


Jonathan SaipeJonathan Saipe

@JonathanSaipe

@Emarketeers

Jonathan Saipe is a digital veteran, having worked in the industry for 20 years. He was formerly digital development director at global ad agency Publicis, working with clients including IBM, HP, and Oracle. He later went on to form his own agency FIFO, before founding Emarketeers in 2007.

“Analytics tools are very powerful today and they can provide a huge array of data to help companies understand whether or not they are fulfilling their objectives. If you had to single out the most valuable piece of customer insight analytics provide, I’d say it’s…”

Engagement. With user experience being continually cited as one of the most critical metrics to measure, customer engagement metrics such as time/pages per session send very clear signals indicating whether or not that particular visitor finds your content relevant. Furthermore, engagement metrics will also reveal to an analyst whether or not the referrer (marketing channel from which that visitor arrived) is generating credible ROI (return on investment).


Freddy MiniFreddy Mini

@netvibes

Freddy Mini has been the CEO of Internet dashboard company Netvibes since 2006, overseeing the company’s expansion into a worldwide service with millions of users. Mini’s position has kept him on the forefront of new Internet-based services, also serving as chief marketing officer for AgendiZe and director for musicMe.

“It’s difficult to pinpoint the single most valuable piece of customer information, as the metrics will vary depending on the type of company…”

Your organization may not even know what the most important signals are. Which prospective customers are most likely to buy your product? Which existing clients are most likely to upgrade or quit your service? That’s where the magic of data analytics comes in.

By empowering employees at all levels to analyze data, compare different metrics, and find correlations, you can discover what’s most important to your business. For example, you might discover a pattern where clients who
email support about Feature A are the most likely to cancel their renewal. As a result, the company might set up an automatic alert: If a customer emails support about “Feature A,” then automatically send a notice to the account lead and email the customer retention team. By analyzing data, finding actionable insights, and automating business actions based on the data triggers, companies can streamline their operations and enhance the customer experience.


Jay Denhart-LillardJay Denhart-Lillard

@_yooniko

Jay is the Chief Marketing Officer at Yooniko, a personal branding market network platform launching in 2016. With 25 years of experience in building brands and understanding important user needs, he focuses on creating satisfying and productive customer experiences. His sweet spot is the intersection of marketing strategy and technology.

“The most important customer insight to gain from business analytics is…”

The point of greatest friction in the customer experience. For online products and services especially, business analytics must deliver a view into the tensions and frustrations of your customer in their journey to perceive, access, purchase, and use your product. Some may contend that sales funnel data is more critical, but I would counter that those metrics, while critical, are actually sales insights, and not customer-centric insights about the customer experience. Being able to accurately ascertain challenges or problems that your customers have interacting with your brand is the key to making a frictionless and addictive experience and turning potential buyers into raving fans.


Mark HarringtonMark Harrington

@ClutchSuccess

@mark_harrington

Mark Harrington is Vice President of Marketing for Clutch, a leading Consumer Management provider, delivering innovative marketing and loyalty solutions to over 60 million consumers of premier brands like Crabtree & Evelyn, Godiva, Meineke, and Rawlings, to name a few. Previously he served strategic marketing roles for global leading brands like eBay, Citi, and Pearson and pioneering startups like Half.com, Ecount, and Infonautics. Mark is also co-author of two leading business books, Social Business Intelligence: Reducing Risk, Building Brands & Driving Growth with Social Media and Avoiding #FAIL: Mitigating Risk, Managing Threats and Protecting the Corporation in the Age of Social Media.

“The most valuable customer insight most businesses can generate from their cross-channel data sources is…”

The ability to simply identify their best customers in order to further motivate them. While most brands can name their best-performing store location, overall prime commerce channel, and top-selling product, few are able to identify their best customers. This is largely due to the complex, chaotic state of their customer data across a myriad of data collection systems, including POS networks, ecommerce platforms, mobile apps, and social accounts, among others. Having a single customer marketing platform that can synthesize cross-channel data to identify a brand’s best customers while serving as the brand’s customer CRM, loyalty platform, intelligence system, campaign engine, and ESP simplifies this complexity, while delivering actionable insight to marketers and motivating experiences to customers.


Thanos MarkousisThanos Markousis

@Workable

Thanos Markousis is the VP of Operations at Workable, where he focuses on maximizing the value that customers get from their Workable account.

“The key insight most companies should be looking for from business analytics is…”

Whether the customer is getting value out of the product. You first need to build a model that identifies the activities and outcomes that bring a tangible benefit to the customer (evidenced by them converting to a paid plan or upgrading after getting the desired outcomes, for example). Then you create reports and alerts around these metrics and define the manual processes and automated actions that you will take to help the customers that are identified as not getting sufficient value to be successful using your product.


Tanya FischoffTanya Fischoff

@WeMustHaveShoes

Tanya Fischoff spends her days knee-deep in numbers as the Marketing Analyst for Consolidated Shoe Company, a leading fashion footwear company based in Central Virginia. When not down and dirty in data, Tanya’s little size six feet take center stage for product modeling, perhaps her greatest achievement yet.

“The most important piece of information companies can gain from business analytics is…” 

Velocity. Understanding the velocity of activity is the most imperative piece of information that will impact strategies across the whole of a business: sales, projections, marketing efforts, customer service, and more. By tracking and analyzing velocity, businesses can anticipate trends and make decisions accordingly to reap the most profit, incur the least loss, and offer the most effective customer service.

As a fashion footwear company, we routinely track the velocity of products and customers. When will sales of a specific style pick up and slow down? When do customer buys peak by region? At what point do customers begin to slip away? Understanding velocity is at the root of implementing impactful data-driven decisions.


Arnab MishraArnab Mishra

@Transerainc

With almost 20 years in leadership roles, Arnab brings extensive product management, business development, and customer management experience to Transera, where he serves as President and Chief Operating Officer. In his current position, Arnab has responsibility for the Company’s product, engineering, marketing, service delivery and alliances functions.  Previously, Arnab was the Company’s Senior Vice President of Products and Solutions. Prior to joining Transera, Arnab held product leadership positions at Alcatel (Genesys Telecommunications business unit), where he led the team responsible for the definition and positioning of Genesys’ core customer experience platform offerings. In addition, Arnab spearheaded the launch of the Genesys Voice Platform and was instrumental in making the product the leading, next-generation, voice self-service platform globally.

“Your company’s customer base provides a useful snapshot of your market as a whole, including the needs and requests of current and potential customers. By analyzing interactions with customers, you can…”

Tailor products and services both to ensure retention of existing customers as well as improve acquisition of new customers. Data from contact center interactions, for example, might reveal unmet needs being expressed by customers, resulting in insights that can drive future product enhancements and perhaps development of new lines of business. Analytics also provide a highly valuable source of insights into customer behaviors and individual preferences, which in turn can be used to further develop your relationship with the consumer and to help ensure their loyalty to the business in the future.


John NigglJohn Niggl

@InTouchQuality

John Niggl is a salesperson at InTouch Manufacturing Services, a quality control firm in Shenzhen, China, where he has worked in sales and marketing for two years. Previously, Niggl worked in B2B, door-to-door sales selling office supplies on behalf of Quill.com and then selling electricity contracts for Liberty Power across Massachusetts, as well as in parts of New Hampshire, New York, and Maine.

“The single most powerful piece of consumer insight to be gained from business analytics is…”

Churn rate. The average rate at which a business loses existing customers can tell you a lot about what your business may be doing well, not so well, and about trends in customer behavior. Churn rate is especially important for the following businesses:

1. Businesses with a longer sales cycle. If customers are able to continue receiving value by remaining loyal customers for a business, it’s vital that a business monitor customer churn and identify potential causes.

2. Businesses with a high cost of customer acquisition (COCA). Businesses that spend more to acquire new customers are more inclined to keep customers for longer and extract more revenue from each.

Maybe customers are satisfied with some early products or services your business offers, but less satisfied with those later in the sales cycle. Or maybe customers are actually completely satisfied and only discontinue buying from your business because their problems are solved. Whatever the reason for churn, knowing that reason will help you grow your business while keeping customers satisfied for longer.


Ross SimmondsRoss Simmonds

@TheCoolestCool

Ross Simmonds is a Digital Marketing Consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 brands along with some of the fastest growing technology startups. He’s the author of two books: Stand Out (Content Guide For Entrepreneurs) and Hustle Manifesto (How To Escape The 9 to 5). Simmonds is an avid writer and thought leader on business and the co-founder of two startups: GetCrate.co and HustleAndGrind.co.

“The best marketers allow analytics to be…”

The foundation in which their efforts are built on. Customer insights and intelligence allow brands and marketers to clearly understand what messages they need to share. In a world filled with noise and content, it’s more important than ever for brands to understand the types of content, stories, and information that their audience is interested in.

Sites like FollowerWonk, LeadSift, and Affinio offer brands the opportunity to better understand what content their followers are interested in. Using this information, brands have the ability to then create campaigns and initiatives that are tailored to those insights. Whether it’s using a site like BuzzSumo to gather ideas around what type of content they should create or using GetCrate.co to identify content worth sharing, the more we know about our followers’ content habits, the more likely we can arm them with content worth sharing or reading.


Vaclav ShatilloVaclav Shatillo

@ClutchSuccess

Vaclav works for Clutch as Manager of Client Insights & Strategy. He advises various leading organizations on data-driven approaches to strengthen their brands. He’s a graduate of Coe College and holds a masters from the University of Arizona. He is currently pursuing an MBA degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

“While there is a tremendous amount of valuable insights brands can glean from cross-channel data once it’s synthesized, many businesses are still…”

In the early stages of customer intelligence given the limitations their marketing teams have relying on confined technology like sales-based CRM systems. Simply having the ability to identify a brand’s best customers in order to understand their engagement behaviors and preferences to cultivate and emulate these across the base can result in tremendous value to the bottom line. The key is adopting customer technology engineered to the specific needs of the marketer.


Martin KirovMartin Kirov

@gtmhub

@cinciribaika

Martin is a co-founder and CEO of Gtmhub. Previously he worked at Telerik where he developed and managed a global Sales and Marketing teams for Sitefinity CMS and Digital Experience Cloud.

“Trying to align the entire company around a single most important customer metric could be dangerous…”

This is mostly because if certain teams in the organization can’t see how their work directly contributes to that metric they may feel unimportant and disengage. If you pick a single metric and use it to align the entire company around it, it absolutely needs to be followed by secondary metrics that different teams are responsible for (and make sure every team owns metrics they know are related to the main company goal).

With that disclaimer, in my view the most important customer insight is the win/loss analysis. This is because a detailed win/loss analysis focuses on answering the most important question: Are you succeeding in delivering the value your target audience expects? When yes – what are the key elements and how can you enhance them further? When no – where do you need to improve? The other reason why win/loss analysis is critical is that (when done right) it covers a wide part of your GoToMarket strategy and execution. Here are some examples of what you can learn from a win/loss analysis and how you can leverage that data:

Sales Engagement

What you can learn

How many deals did we win because of excellent sales engagement – active follow ups, providing good resources at the right time, guiding the deal towards closing, etc.? What are the successful sales practices we should incorporate in our sales playbook?

How many deals are we losing because the sales rep wasn’t persistent enough? 80% of non-routine sales occur only after at least five follow-ups. At the same time, 44% of sales people give up after only one “no” (source: Marketing Donut). Are we quick enough to engage with new leads? If you follow up with web leads within five minutes, you are nine times more likely to convert them (source: InsideSales.com).

How can you use it

By analyzing won and lost deals you can see successful as well as ineffective sales methods and make sure the good practices are listed on the playbook everyone follows. You can also invent ways to catch and correct bad practices before they lead to a lost deal.

Product or Service Value

What you can learn

What are the key things on the checklist of your prospects and how do they change with time? How many deals did you lose because you didn’t offer a particular feature or service that your competitors have? What is the feature/enhancement/service that has the highest revenue impact (how many deals that had this as a key requirement were lost)?

How can you use it

Well this is pretty straightforward – if you know what’s missing in your product and service that directly relates to lost deals, you make sure that it ends up on your short or near-term roadmap. It’s important to distinguish between customer requests (I’d like to have this) and customer requests that directly result in lost revenue (if you don’t have this I am not buying).

Pricing and Licensing

What you can learn

Are there any weak spots in your licensing where you are not competitive? Excessive discounts in particular cases can be a clear symptom of that. How price-sensitive are our customers (can we increase win rates if we discount more)? Is our pricing and licensing easy to communicate and understand? What are the key elements of our offering that our clients value the most? Do we charge for them accordingly?

How can you use it

Understanding which parts of your value proposition your customers value the most will help you organize pricing and licensing in way that maximizes revenues. You can accomplish long-term revenue growth by constantly evaluating and optimizing your pricing and packaging. If your business makes the majority of revenue from account expansion you may want to consider lowering the entry barrier (initial sales price) and maximizing the lifetime value of the customer account.

Doing a proper win/loss analysis can help you optimize many aspects of your GoToMarket strategy and execution. Yet very few companies do it on a regular basis. Traditionally, a win/loss analysis would require customer interviews, manual analysis of sales opportunities and relevant communication, interviews with sales reps, etc. However, modern technology allows us to analyze large amounts of CRM, Help Desk, and other relevant data and find the things that are coming between winners and losers and outline them. Sales emails and support tickets can be analyzed for keywords and highlight the sentiment around pricing, product value, quality of support, etc. and highlight the key parts of the communication that is relevant to the deal outcome. Companies that are analyzing their wins and losses on an ongoing basis are very likely to adapt to the changing environment and succeed in the long run.


Brandon ShockleyBrandon Shockley

@Plannerzone

Brandon Shockley is a researcher and strategist at Plannerzone, a consumer insights agency. His work focuses on millennial marketing, B2B, and financial services. He also teaches advertising research in the Annenberg School of Communications at Temple University.

“Companies can grow sales by using business analytics to…”

Understand the purchase behavior of infrequent and light buyers. Marketers often recite the Pareto Law—that 80% of a brand’s sales come from the top 20% of the heaviest buyers. In reality, this is false. Marketing scientists have studied this using real brands and markets, and found that the real number is closer to 55-60% of sales from the top 20% of buyers. This means that nearly half of your sales come from light and infrequent buyers, a group that may be neglected in your sales and marketing strategy. Focusing on your heaviest buyers, to the exclusion of light buyers, reduces sales potential.


Sarah HardwickSarah Hardwick

@ZenziPR

Sarah Hardwick founder and CEO of Zenzi, helps companies forge deeper, more profitable relationships with customers by understanding their inner needs and desires. Hardwick has been recognized as a ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ and a San Diego Most Admired CEO. Her firm has increased awareness and inspired business results for Nestle, Shea Homes, DIRECTV, MapQuest, Grocery Outlet, Ghirardelli Chocolate, Chiquita, Grand Pacific Resorts, and many more.

“The most important insight to be gained from implementing business analytics is…”

Understanding your customer’s WHY.

While it’s true marketers have access to more data than ever, the real differentiator will be in how marketing leaders will use this information to better understand their customers. While many have concentrated past efforts on analyzing the WHAT and looking at data on prior customer behavior, 2016 will be the year of looking ahead to the WHY. Studies suggest only a third of C-Suite executives feel CMOs actively understand their customers (according to a recent Ernst & Young study).

With customers increasingly getting savvier at blocking communications they deem irrelevant and demanding greater transparency, marketers will need more effective ways to connect. For these reasons, listening to what
customers are, or are not, saying, through sentiment, context and tone, will only continue to grow in importance.

Beyond looking at customer titles, demographics, and general product needs, the most effective brands will take a critical step back to try to uncover their deeper psychological values. Why are our customers motivated to do
XYZ? Are they focused on making a difference and helping others over themselves? Driven by a sense of adventure and desire for freedom to explore? Or seek to enjoy the simple pleasures of life? Effective communications to each of these customers will be distinctly different.

Marketers that understand the answers to these and other questions can more effectively segment and tailor strategies that resonate with their customers. They can also gain actionable insights into their customers’ communication preferences, marketing channels and images that are most likely to be effective. Uncovering information about customer values can give marketers an advantage to connect on a deeper level, and build lasting loyalty and engagement.


Michael BremmerMichael Bremmer

@telecomquotes

An entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector, Michael is recognized for new ways of thinking about technology, telecommunications, and having the audacity to believe common sense is still the best medicine for life. Michael is best known for founding Telecomquotes.com, helping businesses by being their defacto CIO, and finding unique ways to make their technology “roll up its sleeves and go to work.”

“The most important insights companies can gain from business analytics will be different for every business, although the general answer will be the same and that is…”

Whatever allows you to more efficiently service your customer, increase their LOYALTY to your brand, and ideally, find a way to use that data to get them to evangelize your company to others, because their experience was so good they cannot WAIT to brag about it.

As Deming said…”Without data…you’re just another person with an opinion.”


Grafton RobinsonGrafton Robinson

@insureon

Grafton Robinson manages digital marketing efforts at Insureon, the fastest-growing insurance firm in the country. Insureon is an online-only platform that generates B2B retail leads through its search presence, affiliate relationships, and digital outreach.

“For us, the term ‘analytics’ really just means ‘customer experience.’ We look at data to see…”

What exactly our customers want and what they respond to – then we adjust our approach.

We work with small businesses and help them find insurance. That means our customers are a lot of first-time business owners and people who are making the leap to launch a new enterprise. So what does our data tell us about them? When you’re first hanging up your shingle, you’re worried about how much everything is going to cost. We found that both in our 1-on-1 customer interactions and in the huge amount of data we’ve collected from surveys and web analytics.

Because of this, we decided to do something unconventional in the FinTech world. We published reports about the cost of insurance and make as much of our cost data public as we can. Usually, that stuff is kept under lock and key. But we’ve found our customers respond to this transparency. And that’s an insight that was driven home by the data we’ve aggregated.


Bob ShirillaBob Shirilla

@SimplyBags

Bob Shirilla is a Senior Engineer and Strategic Planner with over 20 years of experience working with a Fortune 200 consulting company (EDS/HP). He is currently pursuing his lifelong dream as an entrepreneur, working on his latest company Simply Custom Bags, a leading US distributor of personalized and custom tote bags.

“Historically the most valuable customer indicator has been…”

Conversion rate. We sell custom bags on our eCommerce site and we categorize product lines and products by conversion rate. This information is the foundation for product development. It helps us discover niche products, customers with a passion, and target price range.

We’ve discover geographic and seasonal conversion rate difference, which has guided our advertising campaigns.


Pam AbrahamssonPam Abrahamsson

@Pam_A

A 15 year+ veteran of the communications industry, Pam relies on data daily in her work through PRA Public Relations. She also serves as mentor, volunteer, speaker, and writer for social impact, entrepreneurism and education/STEM issues. She’s helped countless clients, causes and colleagues work through their toxic thought blocks and go on to be engaged communicators and doers in their industries.

“The best customer insights from data analytics come from…”

Getting outside! Pulling only internal analytics is like polling your family about their opinion on.your family. It’s immediately accessible, the data participants are highly knowledgeable about the subject matter, they are stake-holders – but it’s not a complete capture of opinion data. You need outsider input too. So my advice is to get outside!

By get outside, I don’t mean heading outdoors to enjoy the fresh air (although that’s really smart advice for any overly-focused data analytics professional). The key to meaningful analytics is to pull enough external data to ensure you are getting a more accurate, comprehensive view of your customer or community segment.

Why does it matter? Because external market data helps us get a 360 degree look at our market environment. It helps us see what our competitors are doing – or not. It helps us identify the trends, developments, and quick pivots by which the enterprise will thrive or die.

So yes, do your cohort analysis, traffic flow, search queries, and the like. Then, go to an external source for data about the competitive community. In my communications field, obtaining external data analytics is key to success. Here are a few resources we use, and a couple that are free/affordable hacks for data seekers working in the limited budget or DIY mode.

Media analytics: We’re a fan of Meltwater, a media data resource that helps us aggregate and analyze key media trends, overall sentiment ratings, geographical topic focus and more.

Google AdWords: Google, as usual, is a wealth of resource. Its Ad Planner and Keyword tools help enterprises zero in on the search phrases that are earning traction in the market place, while identifying small silos of opportunity.

Competitor keywords: Oh, it’s grand to know what your competitors value enough to pay for. Freemium sites such as SpyFu provide reasonable data estimates of paid keyword, budget spends and more.

Social mention: See in near real time the trending dialogue around competitors, issues, trends and your enterprise.


Lisa ChuLisa Chu

@BlackNBianco

Lisa Chu owns a children’s formal clothing brand named Black N Bianco. Her apparel brand is dedicated to providing affordable and adorable children’s formal wear.

“The most valuable piece of customer insight companies can gain from their business analytics is…”

The ability to see what their customers respond to the most. Customers have the ability to purchase and research anything they want in the moment. Using analytics insight data can you help you better understand their behaviors and cater to their needs. The more accurately you can predict your customers lifestyle and habits, the more successful you will be at providing relevant content or products to attract new customers.