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Marketing

Published April 9th 2013

Why Tying Up Data Will be the Next Social Revolution

There’s a lot of talk about data around at the moment – and much of it misunderstood.

Big data, customer data, CRM data – suddenly, everyone is interested in something that savvy marketers have known for years is the key to great marketing.

Look at the incredible database that sits behind the Tesco Clubcard or the Nectar Card scheme, for example. These companies understand how their customers behave and, rightly, credit this data and knowledge as integral to their business success.

At the moment, social media behavioural data is the next golden egg – the thing that all marketers need to crack.

But it’s not enough to understand it on its own – the real key will be when this data is tied to the customer knowledge that companies already use to make their marketing relevant.

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The potential benefits of this are clear for customers.

If brands understand whether customers prefer to follow them on Twitter, receive emails or communicate via Facebook, then brands can improve their experience – and tailor communications appropriately. At the moment, this data sits in separate databases and can’t be tied together.

Some steps have been taken in this area – generally in the area of customer support.

The very best businesses in this space will try to verify customer details when they contact a brand via social channels, just as they would with a call to a contact centre or an email to customer service.

In this way, some small portion of social media data is tied up to customer relationship management, or CRM systems.

But that is just part of the picture – and not the only thing that matters when it comes to brand building, sales and customer-centric marketing.

Loyalty programmes are a logical next step – we at Yomego are already working with a major UK retailer to join its customer loyalty scheme to activity and behaviour in social media channels. It’s inevitable that other brands will also begin to find ways to tie up these two hugely powerful data pools.

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The key to doing this successfully will be in making sure that you get your permissions strategy spot on. Customers need to know what you’re using their data for.

But properly explained, the benefits should be clear – avoiding marketing overload and making sure that you receive the communication you want are a clear benefit to customers.

Once you understand how social links with other customer behaviour patterns you can begin to look at a much more rounded view of your customers.

The UK has more than 33m users on Facebook alone. A significant number of these possibly interact with brands that they love in real life via the channel.

At the moment, we’re just beginning to take steps to understand what being a fan in real life and being a fan in social media looks like. But this will be the next data revolution, with real impacts for brands and consumers.

 

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