In a world where competition is just one click away… why should customers do business with you and not your competitor? Because you treat them differently – as a unique individual. Not just like another number in the system.
The million-dollar question is this: How can you treat your customer like a unique individual? And even more importantly, how can you scale it?
It all starts with one person. Have you ever wondered why your friends like you? It’s because you know them intimately – you know what are their needs, desires, dreams, and fears that keep them up in the middle of the night. You understand them and treat them as unique individual and they love it.
When it comes to our brain at a certain point its capacity to know people intimately maxes out. Scientists say it’s around 150 people. With technology, it’s different – the capacity to intimately know people is infinite. So how come we are not using it to better understand and interact with our customers? Just like we do it when talking to our friends. Do you think your customers would enjoy such a personalized interaction? Especially in a day and age when we have more customer data available than ever before in marketing history.
Some companies can already see the writing on the wall and are trying hard to create this personalized engagement. But they run into many roadblocks. The most common challenges are:
- Don’t know what they know – customer data is fragmented and scattered between different teams throughout the entire organisation
- No easy way to create highly customised audiences based on all available data (online, offline, social, e-mail and so on)
- No ability to act in real-time to current market trends, but they have to wait several weeks for data from the IT department to act upon, leading to a loss of business opportunities
- No single customer ID (the unified identity of a single customer based on data from all their marketing platforms) – they cannot treat customers as individuals because they can’t see their unique customer journey across all of the company touchpoints
- Marketers have communications and branding background but nowadays their work more and more requires IT and marketing research skills
- Technology that can help overpromises but underdelivers
So where to start? Just like when you have any kind of problem, the best thing is to call an expert to fix it for you. To be able to successfully do this, this person needs the right experience and skill-set. So who do you call when you want to treat customers as unique individuals and scale it up? Your best bet would be to call a marketing scientist. Here’s a definition from Wikipedia:
“Marketing science is a field that approaches marketing – the understanding of customer needs, and the development of approaches by which they might be fulfilled – predominantly through scientific methods, rather than through tools and techniques common with research in the arts or in humanities.”
Marketing scientist is a man or a woman (we love to empower women in tech, just check our project She Loves Data) who is a go-to person between IT team on one side and Marketing, Finance and Compliance teams on the other side. She’s the bridge to ‘make the data talk’ and tell you a story about your business you need to know. As you can imagine from what she needs to deliver, this is not an easy task by any means. An extensive skill-set covering IT, marketing and statistics field is required. Here are just some of the skills that marketing scientist needs to know:
- Basic and advanced statistics (including machine learning)
- Basic programming (advanced programming for some positions)
- Fundamentals of data management (advanced knowledge for some positions)
- Survey research and questionnaire design
- Critical thinking and analytical skills
- Consumer behaviour expertise
- Marketing and business understanding
- Presentation and communication skills
Now, when you look at the job market today, you see only very few people with this particular expertise. It’s because all the way up to the 21st century our economy mostly values specialisation. As a direct result, you have either IT or marketing skill-set. A combination of both is a rare breed indeed. But as you can see there is a growing demand for people who can act as a bridge between these two worlds. So the way your marketing team looks like needs to change. This creates a big opportunity for organisations to start hiring and training people in these skills. Those who will crack the code first will reap most of the benefits. Leaving their competition in the dust.
But don’t worry. If your company hasn’t got the necessary talent yet but you would love to treat your customers as unique individuals and scale it up – we are here to help. In Meiro, we simply love data and have many highly-skilled marketing scientists on our team. So feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to create a roadmap for you – how to successfully navigate the data maze.