To understand the customer has always been important. But until very recently no company did more than segment their customers. No customer has been treated as a segment of one. Obviously there’s room for improvement if you have a million of customers but only 8 segments that you distinguish. So you may try to go to 20, 30 or maybe even 500. But why would it make sense to understand each and every one of those as an individual?
Obviously there’s no way to have 1 million different products or services to offer so that you could provide an exclusive service. So there will always be some sort of segmentation. But if you consider the factor of time – then you get the point: You need to understand what this individual most cares about NOW. Hence you have to have a much better understanding of your customers to serve them really well.
Each company has to rethink its Marketing Strategy. Social Media and Mobile change the way customers perceive, share, respond and act. Does this mean every company now needs to spy what their customers do on Facebook or Twitter? Certainly not. There has to be a transparent opt-in and a give and take of benefits. Information sharing for convenience, a nice experience or even financial rewards.
Now, how does big data come into the picture? To really extract meaningful insights from all that data – be it messages in social media, be it patterns of behaviour that can be inferred from the usage of a mobile phone – this all means challenges that have to be dealt with with a new kind of technologies – big data technologies.
I will come back to that in a future post. And I will try to keep my writing meaningful to a broad audience – not the IT professionals only.