What most companies can't get right

Why you don’t know your customers as well as you’d like to

If you visited a Radio Shack at any point in the 90s, you’ll recall the ritual of providing your complete contact info for every purchase. 

Buy a huge roof antenna? “Name, address, and phone number, please.” 

A battery? “Name, address, and phone number, please.” 

Surely, Radio Shack understood the power of data and was amassing a treasure trove it could analyze in a bid to conquer the market for local electronics, right? 

Wrong. 

I consulted Radio Shack in the 90s. Turns out that data typically never made it past the district manager. 

I could provide a laundry list of similar missteps by other now-failed brands. 

Here’s the thing: not a whole lot has changed since then. Businesses from every vertical are awash in data, but they’re not maximizing its value – not even close. About two thirds (68%) of data available to enterprises goes unleveraged, a survey of 1,500 global business leaders shows, according to Seagate Technology.

Unlocking the full potential of data

We’ve talked a lot here about the importance of accurate, timely, and complete data in effective ad campaigns. How the rise of personally identifiable information (PII)-based approaches are making it possible to deliver unprecedented results and value. 

But the value of this data is not limited to ad campaigns.

In fact, once unlocked, it is key to finally answering important questions that have evaded businesses for decades: “Who are my customers? Which are profitable? Which are costing me? Who should get more of my focus?” 

The world of eCommerce (and digital-first brands) has made us take for granted that most companies are operating robust and comprehensive digital data strategies to power marketing and operations. In reality, most – especially those with a physical footprint – have volumes of data trapped in silos. Think grocery stores, dealerships, hobby stores, department stores, home improvement companies – you get the point. 

And lest you think this issue is isolated to B2C players, know that the same challenges exist in B2B as well. 

These businesses don’t know why they’re losing certain customers. Or how to maximize profit on certain customer segments. Most don’t even know who is walking through those sliding glass doors every day. 

Understanding that it costs upwards of 10x as much to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Or that there is untapped revenue potential in sizable portions of their customer base, companies are frankly desperate to break down the silos. To see a flood of data flow into a unified stream that can be mined for infinite insights – the equivalent of business gold. 

This has been the focus of our emerging collaborations with customers. 

We are helping them understand who exactly they’re conducting business with by cross-referencing our expansive, validated database of people with the bits of data they’ve collected to establish who exactly is in their buying audience. 

Our approach to master data integrity management builds on the strength of our fully-permissioned, opt-in, accurate PII data to provide actionable profitability and opportunity assessment and churn analysis that can result in a 3-4x gain in profitability. 

Whereas we typically engage at the CMO level, we are finding this approach is gaining the attention of the entire C-suite as management teams remain under pressure to grow. 

In our next post, we’ll dive into where data hides in organizations, strategies for unifying it, and the magic that happens when it’s matched against PII-level data. 

It’s time to get to know your customers better. Get started today.
Steve Horne

Author Steve Horne

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