The Most Important Data Sets: Your Customers

Last week we chatted about Data Points vs. Data Insights, why they are important, and how they differ.  

I’d like to dive a bit deeper into what I consider to be two of the most important data points to review and the insights to be gained by them.  

Whether your business is small or large, there are two pools of respondents you can gather data from: current customers and future customers.  

Each group can give you a vast amount of data and insights you can use to increase brand awareness and revenue.  

Let’s dive in.  

Current Customers 

We love our existing customers. They are our bread and butter and the reason we can stay in business. We have a lot to learn about them, their buying decision making process, and how to keep them happy. 

As a business owner I would make it a priority to survey existing customers to decide why they have chosen my brand and why they decided not to choose my competitor. I could find out demographic information to see who my target audience is, or to see what ground I must gain by targeting other audiences.  

I could better understand what my business is lacking from my existing customers so we can improve products and services while understanding what they enjoy about the brand so we can continue to deliver the quality they expect.  

I can even find out where they are purchasing our products, where they see our advertisements, and how they feel about our pricing.  

It can be assumed that if they are buying from us that we are doing something right in their eyes and that gives us a huge opportunity to learn from them. The information they can provide would be invaluable to maintaining our status with our existing customer base. 

Additionally existing customers already trust our brand and are more likely to increase they’re purchase power with positive experiences. It’s also far more cost effective as a business to support current customer relationships than it is to create new ones. It’s a win-win all around. 

Future Customers 

Our future customers are the ones we want to turn into current customers. Maybe they haven’t been in the market for our product or service, or maybe it hasn’t been the right time to buy. Maybe our pricing structure is just slightly beyond budget, or we haven’t done a good enough job of marketing the quality of what we do. 

Regardless of why they have not bought from us yet, their data and insights are equally invaluable. If we are missing a target demographic, for example, we could build a marketing campaign to reach them. If there is a key piece of our products or services that is missing which prevents us from closing these sales, we would want to know that. If they have never seen our advertisements, we would want to understand their exposure to increase our efforts there.  

It could be information as simple as understanding that our price point is just slightly above what they can afford, in which case we could use that information to develop more economical alternatives. 

The major point here is that we need to know why these people aren’t purchasing from us so we can develop marketing initiatives to convince them to do so. 

If we can ease into these new relationships with existing information rather than throwing a dart at a board, we will close the gap quicker and more economically. Customer acquisition can be expensive, so to increase profit margins, the best thing you can do is go into these new initiatives with the most accurate and updated information from potential buyers. 

There are only two… 

People are either your customers or they aren’t. For one reason or another they have either made a purchase from you or they haven’t. It could be due to quality, exposure, reputation. It could be that you had marketing that reached them or marketing that didn’t. it could be something that you discover in your data analysis that you might not have thought about or considered.  

Truly there are many reasons I haven’t purchased from companies for reasons the company may never discover if they don’t ask, and I imagine the same applies for all consumers. I’m also brand loyal to specific companies that may never know why unless they ask.  

Uncovering the data from both sets will provide information and insights that will help you make more informed decisions. These decisions will help you achieve your business goals with accurate information directly from the source.  

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