Today, more than 11 billion Internet-connected devices produce more than 8 zettabytes of data per year. By 2025, forecasts call for 80 billion devices and 180 zettabytes of data, respectively. The amount of data available to help you better understand your customers and their interactions with your brand(s) is greater than ever, and it will continue to grow exponentially. The challenge is that you and your company must learn how to drink from this ‘digital firehose’ in order to survive.
As you consider how to do this, let me share with you 6 important trends to keep in mind:
- Data mastery: Every year there will be more users, more devices and more sources of data. Keep an eye on what Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are doing to lead the way in terms of transforming customer data into value. For example, in the financial services sector, these companies are already leveraging their unmatched data knowledge to challenge traditional players with mobile payments, digital wallets, peer-to-peer, and even lending services.
- Precision analytics: As data privacy concerns increase, especially in the EU (General Data Protection Regulation started in May 2018), the focus will shift from collecting every possible piece of information to collecting only the information required to give the customer what they need at each step in the customer journey. All the information you collect should be actionable, and you will need to learn to make the most of the restricted data you are allowed to maintain.
- AI to the rescue: Organizations will increasingly use AI – inclusive of machine learning and deep learning – to detect customer usage patterns, to solve customer service issues by analyzing product information, and to help exploit unstructured data like pictures, posts and videos.
- Personalization: This is likely to take the form of personalized websites based on customer personas or previously stated interests, personalized apps, personalized videos and more.
- Timing is everything: Better data analytics will enable companies to improve the timing of offers and act on customer data while it is still fresh. Remember that the digital customer journey starts well before the first sales contact. For example, the customer journey for car insurance starts 60 days before customers receive their first quote and involves an average of 15 touches.
- Data partnerships: Companies will turn increasingly to data partnerships to remain competitive with data giants like Amazon and Google. Current examples include the AmEx/Acxiom partnership, multiple credit card companies partnering with airlines and hotels, homeowners’ insurance companies who partner with mortgage companies, etc.
The exploding volume and frequency of data provides a wonderful opportunity for companies to understand their customers and prospects in a hyper-focused way. Properly collected and analyzed, customer data can deliver increased business revenue, bigger wallet-share, and happier and more loyal customers willing to advocate for your company’s brand(s). But it also represents a significant risk of getting caught in a 180-zettabyte flood if you and your company do not get in front of this now.
ISM would be happy to data analytics developments impacting your business in more detail with you over a call. You can also choose a good time here: https://calendly.com/ismguide/unlockinsight. The link will take you to our calendar where we can arrange a time to speak. Other options: contact us page or call 301-656-8448.
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