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Are We Collecting the Right Data Only To Use it All Wrong?

Big Data

You're training hard for your next fight, working out, evaluating your opponent's weaknesses and honing that strategic advantage that's going to take that opponent down.

But you're not an MMA fighter. You're marketing a product or service. You're collecting as much data as you can about your customers? You're analyzing and strategizing and trying to figure out how you can undermine your opponent.

Think your opponent is your top competitor? Not a chance. If you're like most of us today, you've positioned your target audience, the customer as your opponent. They're the ones you're looking to conquer.

They're the ones you use big data to manipulate. They're the ones that you study to know their next move before they know it. All with the goal of selling them more, even more than they need. At the end of the day, it's all about revenues.

And for many of us, this is all we know.

But perhaps it's time to rethink big data and our 20th century sales and marketing mindset that we think we've escaped. Even those of us how were still in high school in the 80's & 90's haven't let it go.

With all of this new information at our fingertips, maybe it's finally time to meet and exceed all of our objectives by using data in a new and innovative way that does not treat customers as an opponent but as an ally, and a force greater than we alone as marketing teams, could ever be, an army of promoters.

Are we afraid of that kind of success?

I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review, in which a phenomenal author, Niraj Dawar, pointed out a truth that many of us are beginning to realize: "Winning the next transaction (through big data) eventually yields only short term tactical advantage, and it overlooks one big and inevitable outcome."

That outcome, Niraj explains, is that our real competitors in the industry are doing the same thing. This means that we and our competitors( the real ones) are burning through most of our analytics budget just to stay even with each other. And only a tiny portion of that budget is actually helping us create a competitive advantage.

What a waste of valuable resources!?

Niraj argues that we are using data all wrong and it costs us. Instead we could be using the same data or data-collection methods to add value to customers lives.

Whether you're marketing healthcare for a private practice or building a brand for a health coach, it's all the same.

Why Adding Value Knocks Selling Out Cold

Think about it. What would happen if instead if wasting time and money to stay even with your competitors, you actually put all of it into adding real value to your customers lives -- and increasing their loyalty, their life time value and cultivating a promoter mentality that does your acquisition for you.

How can We Use Data to Add Value

1. By focusing on customer experience over sales, upsell, resell or whatever other kinds of sales we can come up with. When a customer feels they bought more than they needed or not what they wanted, you haven't created a promoter of your brand.

2. By giving customers what they want. By analyzing their patterns (data) and listening to feedback, we can continually work to improve the customer experience.

This means more data-driven, relevant and shareable content that helps people connect with your brand. We should only be working with content creators who can demonstrate that we value customers -- while helping us achieve our goals.

For some common mistakes that can cost you, check out 5 Silly Mistake People Make When Hiring a Blog Writer.

3. By considering how our data gathering as large companies helps the "little guys" in a B2B Scenario. If you are a big company, or a data collecting wizard with clients who are business leaders, you are likely collecting data that will help them be more successful. When your clients are successful, you're successful.

4. By being creative, thinking outside the box, always considering what that data is telling you and how it can help you create the experience that inspires loyalty. Businesses need to find new and innovative ways to use this data. This will be your market differentiation.

Put Big Data to Work for You

No, this didn't just turn into a sales pitch. Please do put big data to work for you. Your customers will thank you with their loyalty and more sales.


What do you think about how we use data?

How do you think it will evolve over time?

Leigh Clayborne is a Hubspot certified freelance content marketing / SEO content writer & strategist with 10 years of healthcare management experience on 15+ years of creating content. She is a strong proponent of creating the right customer experience to meet business goals.

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