The Importance of Data in Driving Customer Experience

Earlier this year, the City of Toronto announced the creation of a “Big Data Innovation Team” within Transportation Services.

Imagine travel data having the ability to solve a huge pain point for Toronto commuters in reducing traffic significantly. By understanding how, where and when people travel in Toronto, the city is able to make better informed decisions and investments around infrastructure. Whether travelling by car, bike or transit, getting from point A to point B can someday be a seamless experience.

The same can be said for using Big Data to create a “traffic-free” experience for your brand.

The trend of using customer analytics in marketing is proving to be one the most fundamental shifts in our generation. Unfortunately, many companies are still using Big Data as a predictive tool and not as a way to truly deliver real value.

Today’s consumers have evolved too. They have more choices than ever before and are willing to act quickly if someone else provides them with a simpler, more cost-effective or more enjoyable experience.

At B​rainStation,​ our aim is to revolutionize the student experience by treating our students like loyal customers. Entire classrooms are more engaged when course material and class pace is catered to their specific needs. Feeling empowered to have an impact on the education model through honest feedback is what allows us to deliver satisfied students at the end of every cohort.

Empowered consumers are also seeking a different, more personal relationship with brands. A report released by Edelman and Brandshare shows that nearly 90 per cent of consumers want to share a more meaningful and interactive relationship with the brands they choose. The same report reveals that consumers believe only 17% brands actually deliver on that relationship today! We’ve found even something as subtle as using open rates to determine relevant email marketing content for our customer based has gone a long way in fostering longer term relationships.

What that means is that there’s a great opportunity to better utilize analytics to hone in on a ripe demographic. Netflix, for example, has access to more than 30 million customer decisions every day. According to The New York Times, they served up the award-winning show H​ouse of Cards​after analyzing key search terms, peak streaming times, and how users interacted with certain shows. This is the type of show you cancel plans for (not that I have!). Coincidence? Maybe not.

There is a ton of data floating around out there, but all for nothing if not understood.Brands need to be agile. Those who are best able to understand data and anticipate consumers’ needs will flourish.

But how? This draws on the critical importance of the relationship between those collecting and analyzing data and those managing customer touchpoints. We know that this collaboration is in it for the long haul and that much work needs to be done to create a relevant and impactful customer experience. There is also a need for a new breed of marketer, the “marketing technologist,” who is able to easily navigate emerging software and shifts in technology.

It’s no longer about the top-down marketing of generations past. Consumers are now leading and it’s up to us to gain insights from data to make their lives better.