It’s no secret a reality of business success is the high performers focus on the customer.  But, for years organizations have been in a period of reducing costs, increasing productivity…and listening to the customer and for their cues had become a lower priority.  An Accenture survey highlights that one key to high performing organizations is putting focus on the customer.  Getting the proper, contextual information to the right person at the right time, drives satisfaction, sales and loyalty.

Analytics and its use with technology allows us to be more predictive and proactive with our consumers, to make their lives easier.  Understanding their patterns, histories, preferences allows us to tailor messages that are richer in relevance and context, therefore more likely to be opened and acted upon.

While older generations continue to evolve to accept personalization for fear of “big brother” tendencies, younger generations demand it.  But is that really a surprise?  Absolutely not…and, absolutely….common sense.  Lives are busier with multiple working households, higher single parent families creating less flexibility in schedules, increased activity of children and so on and so forth.  As lives become busy, it is no surprise that today’s consumers will jump on an opportunity that is packed with personalized, time and money saving offerings.  We live in a world that has been for the most part “safe” from domestic harm or trials and tribulations that may cause big brother skepticism.   So when weighing risk/return, who wouldn’t be in favor of high degrees of personalization to help shave a 15 minute trip or more to a local retailer by enabling an easy online order?  Even if one didn’t make an online purchase, that personalized message may have prevented a consumer like yourself from shopping around as much—reducing likelihood of spend at competitors’ stores and more cross/up sell opportunities at your brick and mortar –  all sparked by specialized, customer specific marketing.

Now, consider the alternative.  This year’s top down objectives focus solely on internal cost cutting and productivity measures for the year, allowing product and marketing departments worry independently about customer specifics.  In this case, cross-organization wide prioritizations may not exist on customer experience such as enhanced technological pieces like web interface, marketing automation capabilities, recommendations or ordering systems because after all we are in a “cost cutting year.”  The result… your organization now became the one that lost the customer due to lack of tailored marketing efforts that otherwise made it quick and easy for the customer to purchase from the organization that’s proactively marketing with specificity.  The other wonderful offset, the customer quite possibly felt non-existent to, or ignored by your organization.  So…with all of that, put and keep your focus on the customer using advanced analytics to build in predictive and micro-segmentation capabilities to proactively reach and respond to your target markets with speed and flexibility.  This can and should be a top down priority, in tandem with efficiency and cost save objectives and not an all or nothing proposition.