Back to basics: Data and Storytelling – whose message is it anyway?
- Posted: 17th May 2016
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Data: a rich resource for businesses.
Businesses put time, energy and money into collecting it and are aware that this is now a resource to be utilised to improve their company’s understanding of their customer base.
But there is something else that needs to be fundamentally understood if a business’s data is going to be the golden goose that we all know it can be.
Data isn’t just about finding out about the customers or prospects who are interested in the message the business wants to share with them; it is also about understanding your customers so that you can share the information with them that they are interested in.
What messages do they want?
Everyone has their own objectives and agenda but in order to get people on side with our messages and pro-actively engaging with what we have to say, we first need to show them that we have something to say that they want to hear.
People are more likely to be receptive to the messages that we want them to hear but that they may not have been initially receptive to only by first building a relationship with them that has been driven by their objectives and agenda .
Data is the story of your customers and their relationship with you. It enables you to create the conversation with them that is relevant to them. This awareness is critical in building a solid foundation with your consumers.
Time is of great value to consumers, and so in return for the time spent listening to your message, and giving your brand their time, they need to hear and see messages that talk to them as individuals.
The exchange of time for value-add activities becomes even more pertinent as more messages and mediums are introduced and utilised in the marketplace.
Adding value to a customer in exchange for time means that you need to drill down into all the info you have about them.
So you may have heard this all before, but the real message here is that the tendency to be pre-occupied with the business’s message rather than the needs of the customer is dealt with by using data to inform and remind you about what the customer wants to hear. Then, and only then, will the customer be receptive to the messages that are part of the businesses needs but perhaps not the individual clients.
Being customer-centric means that we have to give the customer what they want and adapt to this as a business – agility and the ability to respond to clients’ wants and needs are one of the brilliant results of good data marketing.
 Northwestern University, John Lavine, Professor and Director, Media Management Centre