By Annabel Youens, CMO, The Appreciation Engine
It’s a challenge for any business right now to connect with their customers. How do you reach a customer who’s busy Instagraming a photo of their taco lunch, tweeting at Ricky Gervais and scanning their emails while watching the latest episode of True Blood? The more media we consume the harder it can be for marketers to grasp a sliver of attention, even for a moment.
Traditionally marketers had relatively small amounts of customer data to create connections and improvements. Today, the amount of data available has grown dramatically. And that customer data needs to be aggregated, optimized and turned into insights you can take action on.
At Appreciation Engine we help businesses better understand who their customers are. Our engine parses social signal generated by a brand’s customers. This is a hefty operation for any software product, so we rely on Rackspace Cloud Databases to handle our data and to scale our platform in a cost-effective manner while addressing our constantly growing data needs. With Cloud Databases, we get stability and performance, and we don’t have to dedicate a large number of internal resources. Rather, we can focus on optimizing, scaling and enhancing our product and serving our clients. While Rackspace provides a fast, scalable and fully managed MySQL database service that comes with access to experts who can help us with everything from migration and replication to backups, indexing and query optimization.
The Appreciation Engine tackles the plethora of data your customers generate from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, foursquare, YouTube, Google+ and more. Again, more data requires more scale. And while the media cascade continues, and the next Facebook launches, it’s becoming clear social media and all that content isn’t going anywhere. So, where does this leave brands that want to genuinely connect with their customers?
The trick is to create value for your customer so you get their attention. In 2014 no one wants an email newsletter that shows irrelevant content. When I get a few bland emails from the same company I click their unsubscribe link – I just don’t have time to read their newsletter if it doesn’t connect with me.
This is happening to your digital marketing right now. Did you know half your customers will abandon your brand after two mis-targeted communications? Scary!
Mis-targeting also applies to other communication channels. Look at your homepage content – what audience are you missing the mark with? Are your product recommendations the best they could be? Are you displaying the right menu options when customers sign in? Anytime one of your customers feels blasted with generic content you risk losing them.
Creating value starts with understanding your individual customer and then tailoring their online experience. It’s all about personalization.
At first the breadth and depth of customer data out there can be overwhelming, but smart marketers can leverage its power and create value.
Get permission from your customers to start listening to their social feeds and build up a unique picture of who they are. Talking to Tara about the products, content and hobbies she likes will go a long way to building a real relationship with her.
Get personal with your people and they’ll take notice.