Skip to Main Content
Access your saved content
Customer-centricity is an increasingly important requirement for competitive advantage and, ultimately, high performance.
As part of this, developing a robust customer analytics strategy has become vital to help identify the segments that matter, draw insights about behavior and point the way to process changes that will impact customer loyalty and profitability. Accenture discusses how some organizations have effectively done this and outlines four principles that will help companies focus their customer analytics efforts.
Today’s customers have more information and choices than ever—and they are considerably less loyal. In the quest to achieve profitable growth and ultimately high performance, marketing’s ability to help understand the shifting needs of current and future customers is critical.
Accenture research and experience strongly suggests that analytics holds the key to realizing these goals in a multi-polar world in which upstart rivals can emerge quickly from anywhere. In fact, Accenture research shows that high-performance businesses are five times more likely to use analytics strategically compared with low performers.
Accenture defines analytics as an integrated framework that employs quantitative methods to derive actionable insights from data, then uses those insights to shape business decisions and, ultimately, to improve outcomes.
Old business models and sources of competitive advantage are becoming less and less viable. Companies offer similar products and use comparable technology. Proprietary technologies can sometimes be quickly copied. Physical location matters less when customers use the Internet to search and transact.
Increasingly, the basis for competition is located in a company’s ability to gain a deep understanding of customer priorities at an increasingly granular level. Mastering analytics will help companies find new opportunities for profitable growth and make wise decisions about investing marketing resources.
The importance of customer-centric strategies, combined with technological advances, has led a new generation of analytical leaders to demand more insights about customers before making final decisions on target segments, price points, product features, service levels and channel partners. An Accenture survey of 400 senior marketing executives shows that 65 percent cited customer analytics as critical their marketing strategy—more than any other capability. In fact, marketing executives at companies that grew revenue in the past year are significantly more likely to describe their analytics capability as above average than marketers at companies that lost revenue: 68 vs. 58 percent.
To help clients avoid spending time and resources on the wrong data or an unnecessary issue, Accenture has examined the experiences of analytical leaders to identify four principles that have proved the most effective in launching or extending a customer analytics initiative:
Analyze what’s most useful and actionable, not just what’s at hand. Too often, managers use data to justify what they were going to do anyway, or review only data that is easy to access. Alternatively, some companies have blazed their own analytics trails by taking time to vet their data, augment information where necessary and put it to use in addressing new segments with better offerings.
Re-examine existing data streams anew. Existing streams of operational data often deserve a fresh look to help address— and preempt— customer-related issues.
Restructure processes and bring on new people to take full advantage of the new insights. Cultural obstacles to new initiatives sparked by customer analytics must be faced head on, and analytics must be integrated into everyday business processes. Doing this may require hiring people with greater analytical skills.
Embrace a rapid test-and-learn approach. When data is incomplete and a market is evolving quickly, speed may be more important than completeness. An iterative approach can help make the most of existing data.
Contact us to find out how Accenture can help your organization develop a customer analytics capability that enhances competitive edge and helps enable high performance.
July 21, 2010
Skip Footer Links