Friday, 2 July 2010

How well do you know your customers?

I guess the answer to that question will depend on what type of business you are in. If, like me, you are in a service business, the answer might be “pretty well, thank you!”

But if the question were phrased slightly differently: “What characteristics do you look for in new customers?” that might not be so easy to answer. Attracting new customers isn’t always straightforward. And all our customers are different, aren’t they? Well yes, and no.

Yes, in that we are all unique. No, in that we share characteristics that make us more or less likely to purchase from any given business. If we can understand those common characteristics then we are better placed to attract and keep profitable customers.

Most companies have a lot of data about their customers, but very little insight into what these common characteristics are. Yet with a bit of analysis these shared characteristics can be uncovered. It’s called data mining, data analysis, analytics, or segmentation depending on who you talk to. But it’s a potentially profitable part of any new business campaign.

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