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So You Have a Customer Database ... Now What?

tags CRM & Analytics

Gathering customer data is an important starting point, but it’s not enough—you have to know what to do with that data. Unfortunately, data can be messy and confusing on its own. That’s why you need a strong strategy in place to make your data work for you.

Why a Customer Database Is a Gold Mine for Your Business


If you don’t have a customer database or your database is lacking, consider the ways customer data can add tremendous value to your business.

A well-populated database helps you understand your customers better so you can make informed decisions to appeal to their preferences. It makes sense to focus on understanding your current customers and their behaviors better because these customers are ultimately more valuable to your business than new customers. 

If you feel like you’re missing the mark on connecting with customers, data can help you make more informed decisions that move you closer to your goals. Tracking key metrics can also help you see the results of those decisions so you know if a strategy worked or if it’s time to pivot. 

In other words, when you’re informed by data, there’s no need for guesswork. Instead of basing a decision on a hunch, you can make data-driven decisions that propel your company forward.

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Tracking the Right Data: Quality Over Quantity

The term “data” is extremely broad, so it’s important to specify what sort of data you should be tracking. That varies from company to company. The key is choosing the data points that will be most helpful to you. 

Bogging yourself down with irrelevant data can make it easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on using the data that’s really useful. So limit yourself to select analytics that are directly relevant to understanding your customers better and helping you achieve your goals.

For example:

  • If you want to boost customer engagement and retention, be sure to track metrics like customer lifetime value (CLV), churn rate, and repeat purchase rate.
  • If you want to measure the success of a loyalty program, you may want to track metrics like program acquisition numbers and reward redemption rate.
  • If you want to better understand your customer base so you can market more effectively, track information on customers’ demographics and purchasing behaviors.
  • If you want to know which channels you should invest more of your marketing budget into, you should conduct channel analyses to see how each channel contributes to sales and other KPIs.

Decoding Your Data

Now that you’ve acquired a wealth of data, you need to know how to interpret it. After all, a sea of numbers on the computer screen may not seem too insightful on its own. Fortunately, there are some ways you can make sense of your data. Try these tips:

1. Create visual data representations.

“Raw data” is an apt term because data typically needs some preparation to take it from raw ingredients to a digestible finished product. 

Prepare your raw data by turning it into visuals like graphs or charts. These visual representations can make your data easier to understand even at a glance. You’ll find plenty of programs to create these visuals automatically with room for customization.

2. Create customer personas.

Another way to prepare your data is to create customer profiles or personas. These personas turn data on customer segments into something more tangible by boiling the data down into a single fictional person. You can visualize this person when you’re designing products or creating messaging to appeal to this target segment. 

For example, instead of looking at raw data on females born between 1981 and 1996 who have dependents each time you’re trying to appeal to this group, you can look at your Millennial Mom Maggie persona and make decisions with her in mind.

3. Work with a partner.

Don’t beat yourself up if you feel overwhelmed by customer data or you’re unsure of where to start. In one survey, over 60 percent of respondents agreed that capturing and making sense of customer data is a struggle. 

One of the best steps you can take is to find a partner who can help you make sense of your data and provide actionable insights. A CRM/analytics partner will have the expertise to help you track the right data points and interpret your data to make it work for you.

What’s Next? Putting Your Data Into Action

Once you understand your data, you can make informed decisions to help you grow your business. As you make changes, continue to track the same metrics to see what effect these changes had. 

Reevaluate the data you’re collecting regularly to see whether it’s still helpful or whether it’s time to shift your focus to different metrics in order to achieve new goals. 

Put it to work for you in your direct-to-consumer campaigns. Your data can be strategically leveraged in your personalized communications, such as email, SMS, and even variable direct mail channels.  

Ready to start leveraging data to create positive changes that lead to growth? Baesman can help you capture and organize data and turn this data into powerful insights to drive you forward, in addition to managing your email, SMS, and direct mail DTC campaigns.

Let's talk about your goals for customer data.


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