Archive for January, 2012
I recently started listening to the Mixergy podcast. Mixergy is website that supports entrepreneurs in the startup process by sharing stories and lessons from people who have successfully started businesses.
This week’s podcast was with Court Cunningham of Yodle. His description of the startup process and how to build a business by learning from your customers is something that every entrepreneur should listen to.
For centuries retailers have been trying to understand what the customer wants (product and price) so that they could win their business. We have used Category Management tools, RFM Models, Customer Segmentation and Customer Personas amongst other efforts. Unfortunately we have been handicapped by imperfect and incomplete data due to limitations in the technology available at the time.
Now, because of advancements in storage and analytics we can read all of the signals that the customer is leaving for us, across all channels and social networks.
Turning these signals into action is a 3 step process:
1 – Gather – We need to gather and clean all of the data. It may be determined that there is additional data that we currently don’t gather that may be useful so we need a strategy for gathering that also.
2 – Analyze – The data needs to be analyzed for trends and actions to understand what influences the customer to take action. We need to understand the customers triggers whether it is product, price, promotion, pacing, peer pressure or some combination.
3 – Deliver – Deliver the results back in an actionable way so that we can influence the purchase decision. This can be on line, in the store or in a call center. This is the most important part yet the hardest to execute.