mining for gold in data

Mine your customer data to unearth the gold nuggets.

Customer-Centricity Starts with Good Customer Data

“There’s gold in them thar hills..” At least that’s what Dr. M. F. Stephenson said in a futile attempt to convince the miners to remain in Georgia rather than to flock to California to chase what might be an impossible dream. And we’re here to tell you there’s gold in your customer data.

Dr. Peter Fader, author of Customer Centricity, defines customer-centric Marketing as looking at a customer’s lifetime value and focusing your Marketing efforts on the high-value customer segment in order to drive profits. Customer-centric Marketing requires placing the customer at the center of your Marketing-led growth strategy in order to create and extract customer value.  It is the essence of enabling Marketing to serve as a value creator.

Being able to achieve this capability takes mining for gold. With so much data available today and more being created every minute, being able to tell real gold from fool’s gold takes more than a discerning eye. We can take a page out of the gold prospector’s handbook in order to do this well. Successful prospectors test several streams, make notes about the various types of minerals they catch in their sifters, and then evaluate which locations produce the best results. If nothing turns up or if the pieces are too small,  they change locations or practices. If they find a good amount, they hope it indicates the presence of a “motherlode.”

The practice of gold mining applies to Marketing as well. Imagine the power of being able to separate your worst customers from the gold nugget customers! This entails being able to evaluate and understand the value of both new and existing customer in terms of what it takes to attract, acquire, keep and grow their value. And in time, you would be able to determine which stream has the potential to yield the most gold.  As a result you can be more efficient in your mining process and more effective in tapping the gold.

Define a Gold Nugget Customer

Before you begin mining your data, you first need to know what a gold customer looks like. This means you need to know who your ideal customers are. And this takes answering questions such as:

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may need to do some research. You want to be able to create an accurate picture of your ideal customers, their spending habits, what they care about, and what they need from you. Don’t have the expertise internally?  Ask for help.

Identify How to Pan for Gold Nugget Customers

Once you can characterize your ideal customer it’s time to start mining data so you can answer at least these 5 questions:

  1. Are there enough of these types of customers to pursue?
  2. Where are they and how do they find us?
  3. What are their roles, profiles, personas?
  4. When, how and why did they purchase from us?
  5. What touchpoints and content do they use?

Mine Your Customer Data with a Plan

So you think you’ve found the motherlode! Now you need a plan to start mining for gold. This means you will need to craft a plan that addresses at a minimum 4 areas:

  1. Demonstrate you understand and can solve their problem.
  2. Produce a coherent, tailored, relevant, and compelling content across all channels and touchpoints they use.
  3. Sync the content, channels, and touch points with their buying process.
  4. Ensure all customer-facing parts of your company are on the same page.

Turning your raw data of information into actionable customer insights and mapping the customer buying journey takes both process and analytics. But it’s the only way to mine for gold.

Learn more about transforming data into insights and the mapping the buying journey by downloading one of our detailed white papers. The gold rush is back and knowing where to starting panning will make all the difference.


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