“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” ~Zig Ziglar
Customer profiles are becoming the empires companies are fighting for. Building the empire requires robust, flexible and dynamic enterprises. Knowing what is going on is no longer enough. The winning companies know why they are going on and they know it faster than you do. Have you found yourself comparing products on a shelf or in your e-cart only to be interrupted with an ad, coupon or discount offer on that product. Today’s consumers expect that manufacturers are standing at their side reading their mind. For manufacturers, identifying what obstacles stand between customers and cash registers boils down to algorithms. The quicker the who, what, why are identified the higher the probability of success. The challenge is most companies still struggle with the basics of bringing all the right data together. Company A runs the same promotions year over year. Company B is adjusting promotions based on gender, age and social sentiment, because they know that need increases with these profiles. How well do you know your customers?
In a recent report published by McKinsey & Company, they identified five trends that are both highly probable and likely to have a large impact on profits for the Consumer Goods industry in 2015:
- A billion new middle-class consumers in emerging markets
- The rise of the digital consumer
- The shift to value
- The impact of demographic shifts, including aging, on consumption patterns
- Increasingly volatile input costs, driven by natural-resource shortages and the emergence of fewer, bigger supplier
Most analysts spend 50-80% of their time gathering the data and not truly analyzing and asking questions of it. With the explosion of big data and consumer intelligence, consumer goods companies need to find time to dive deeper into the results to define the trends and obstacles impacting their profits. Looking beyond what products are selling on what days, in what areas, for what price. They need to be able to capture and respond to the mood, conditions, and influences as well. Companies need to connect with consumers on a much more intimate level.
The current rise in social analytics is allowing companies to better understand objections and get personal with consumers. While the jury is still out on the impact of social sentiment on sales, rest assured it is not going away. Companies that put the cart before the horse and build the necessary infrastructure to integrate big data will win this race and truly capture their brand. Integrating internal data with social, local and mobile data streams is mandatory. However, this is no easy task to get right even for the experts.
Data sources are complex, disparate, and undefined. We need to apply standards and structure in order to be reliable and add value. As data experts in the area of integration, cleansing and harmonization we have built the architecture and algorithms that allows companies the flexibility to expand with the data. A true Enterprise Demand Signal Repository is the foundation that provides a single source of truth.
A true enterprise solution should support many teams within a company. The account teams should have access to certain information needed for sales. Marketing teams should be able to see promotions, in flight as they are occurring and impacting business every day. Supply chain teams should be able to identify where issues are occurring on a daily basis. This is the foundation for a winning empire to build customer profiles and overcome obstacles.