Businesses understand that marketing and sales help maintain the flow of customers. But choosing the best method to reach your target audience isn’t always as easy as it sounds. And that’s where data science comes in.
Data scientists focus on analytics in an increasingly data-driven world. They find patterns in big data and provide insight regarding who your customers currently are and what you need to do to reach new potential buyers. They even determine when certain customers have experienced a significant life event.
With all of this available information and stores of innocuous details, analytics are changing the way businesses see customers. It may even lead them to anticipate a customer’s future needs.
Classifying Your Customers
Customers come in all shapes and sizes. Their backgrounds vary as well as their age and location. While the use of traditional demographics is nothing new, data scientists can make connections that might not be as commonly explored. They can identify which customers accessed your website and what brought them to it. The detail available goes far beyond that of simple customer surveys and can be applied to buyers who may not choose to participate actively in data collection efforts.
This information can be combined with another source of usable data: the loyalty card. Many stores offer discounts to customers that sign up for their loyalty program. While this partially serves as a method to increase the chances of a customer returning, it also allows a company to see exactly what is being purchased, and by whom.
One demographic that many companies covet are those who are about to become parents. Preparing for a child requires spending a significant amount of money, and tapping into that spending spree can be beneficial to retailers that carry the necessary products. But how do you identify those customers before they begin buying key items like diapers or formula? Though analytics.
Analytics and Predictive Technology
One of the most notable events in the arena of analytics and predicting customer behavior came from retail giant Target in 2012. To help determine which customers may be expecting a child before the classic markers were present, Target analyzed the spending habits of women who used their loyalty program and ultimately signed up for baby registries.
Through advanced analytics, Target identified changes in spending patterns that occurred prior to the registry being created. This gave them metrics by which they could analyze the behavior of other female shoppers, helping them predict when a pregnancy may have occurred. The results were so specific that even an anticipated due date could be determined with relative accuracy, allowing the company to send targeted coupons and other marketing based on those predictions.
In one instance, Target accidentally revealed a pregnancy to a girl’s father before she told him. Target examined the daughter’s spending patterns and determined there was a strong likelihood that she was pregnant. This lead to mailers, addressed to the daughter at her parent’s home, advertising maternity clothing and nursery items.
Even though Target acted within its rights by analyzing the information, many customers found the ability to make these predicts intrusive, or even “creepy.” This lead Target to adjust their technique by combining ads related to a potential pregnancy with those noting other products that are also for sale. It leads customers to believe that the mailer may have been received by every customer, even if the effort was actually targeted to them specifically.
And, it is said, that these methods helped Target claim a large piece of the mom-to-be market without ever receiving direct confirmation that a baby was on the way. That is the power of analytics in the marketplace. With all of the information that is available to you, isn’t it time to add qualified data scientists to your team?
Are you looking for expert data scientists to join your team?
If you need to find a talented team of data scientists to help your company create more effective marketing campaigns for higher sales, Solving IT has the expertise you need. Contact Solving IT and see how a data scientist can take your marketing efforts to the next level.