In this blog article for CMO's, we will be talking about the creation and implementation of a Customer Insights strategy. Digital transformation is now vital for business growth. You can no longer afford action without having data to base your decisions on. In this piece, we will introduce features of HubSpot CRM that enable gathering highly actionable consumer insights. And how to use them to your advantage.
How to Develop a Customer Insights Strategy
In one of the previous articles, we discovered that 75% of users expect a fully personalised experience on a website. Given the competitiveness of every market available, failure to provide that will result in them taking their business to the competitors. However, you cannot tailor an individualised approach unless you know whom you’re approaching.
In a nutshell, customer insights (CI) are understanding and interpreting the data from your customer base through their behaviour and feedback. It can then be used to improve multiple aspects of the business.
From product development to customer support. And then to more effective messaging across marketing channels and social media. CI is the core of everything. And so to set yourself up for success, you need to have a solid customer turning insight strategy.
The Importance of Customer Insights
Although most companies are increasingly adopting the inbound model, very few are capable of pulling it off. There’s a simple reason for that. They’re on the right path of serving their target market as opposed to selling to them.
However, they’re basing their strategies on website metrics. Instead of collecting and analysing an actual customer response.
Customer insights based on direct user interactions with the website paints a picture of who your focus groups are. What their priorities, struggles, preferences and demands are. This, in turn, is what enables the effective implementation of an inbound strategy.
And the creation of highly personalised experiences. It also leads to customer satisfaction.
According to Microsoft, organisations that gather data from analysing customer behaviour outperform their competitors by 85% in sales growth.
User-based data opens many opportunities for leveraging and growing your business. This is the cornerstone of multiple elements that spread across different areas moving forward. Creation of buyer personas, customer journey mapping, market research, developing marketing strategies. Expanding product/service offering, optimising the sales process, and many others.
The inbound approach is built around the user and your content being useful to them. It is logical that the data you need comes directly from the customers. Use it for further actions and benchmarking the effectiveness of the tactics implemented.
Why Do You Need a Strategy?
There are millions of ways of collecting data on your clientele. From engaging them directly to quietly observing their actions from the shadows. To be very brief, different approaches to data collection will deliver different types of data. Therefore choosing the wrong way of data mining will leave you with heaps of irrelevant information.
This is why, before anything, you need to clearly outline the ‘why’ before ‘how’.
- Why is the data you’re trying to collect important?
- What is its contribution to your overall strategy?
- What areas can be potentially improved based on that data?
When you have your objectives defined, you can start listing the ways of acquiring the data you’ve identified as needed. Creating a consumer research strategy will ensure you’re collecting data that is relevant to your business goals. And that you’re using the most efficient channels, employing the best performing tools.
Advantages of HubSpot CRM in CI Strategy Development
One such tool is HubSpot CRM. In fact, it is arguably the best tool currently available on the market. It collects and stores information of your contacts, also enables the creation and development of a CI strategy.
HubSpot CRM is a centralised platform. It comes with a variety of integrated tools that can be used for mining customer insights. With automation opportunities, templates and infinite customisation options, HubSpot CRM is the ultimate tool for collecting, storing and implementing data.
Triggering, Observing and Analysing the Behaviour
As opposed to passive data collection through analytics platforms, HubSpot provides multiple opportunities to be more hands-on about the process. From pop-ups and CTAs to forms and extensive A/B testing opportunities. HubSpot CRM delivers a plethora of ways to build a powerful CI strategy.
Tracking customer interactions through various assets across the website allows you to see;
- what type of approach has the highest rate of response,
- what kind of content drives conversions,
- what type of information provided is in particularly high demand.
However, this doesn’t mean analytics should be forgotten - instead, both sources should be combined to understand your customer better.
For example, there’s a particularly well-performing CTA that attracts many clicks. However, the destination page shows a huge bounce rate. The audience is curious about a value proposition and clicks the CTA. But the content on the landing page does not meet their expectations.
Practices to Gather Customer Insights
HubSpot tools enable you to design a CI strategy that actively encourages users to share their thoughts. For example, a pop-up might ask new site visitors to fill out a survey. If they choose to do so, you will receive feedback covering the areas you need customer insights on.
Even if they choose not to interact with the pop-up - that’s data of its own. Refusal to fill out a survey means the users don’t feel they’ve been provided with enough value to assist you.
A great way to gather customer insights is to ask them directly - through an interview. It’s a good idea to follow up with a contact that has signed up for a free trial period. However, chose not to purchase a product.
Using HubSpot CRM in-built calendar tool, you can ask them to book a call with you. Then you can talk through what features (or lack of) influenced their decision. Also, what was their overall experience and what do they think needs improvement.
Since HubSpot CRM collects and stores data of your prospects, it is very easy to get in touch with a contact. And the best way of doing that is through enabling automation. Here’s a sample scenario:
The contact who has previously booked a demo is seen returning to the website from time to time. They haven't purchased the product. Upon their 7th visit, they are sent an automated email. It offers them a curation of content they would find relevant.
It is based on their interactions with the website during the previous visits. Since HubSpot comes with a smart content feature, each contact that triggers the automation will receive a selection of content. It will be built based on their personal record.
Implementing the Data
Collecting data is meaningless unless it’s being actively used towards clear objectives. Therefore gathering data is a multi-level process that can be carried out in a variety of ways. The implementation of the knowledge acquired through data collection is no less important and is part of the CI strategy.
As we have outlined already, HubSpot is a centralised platform. Therefore while it aids in data collection and storage, it also supports its practical implementation.
Data-Driven Internal Communication for Seamless Customer Experience
We’ve already touched upon A/B testing and smart content - both in this article and in further detail. However, ensuring the relevance of automated response is not the only way HubSpot puts CI data to use. If you want a successful business, you can’t entrust it to AI alone. Your team’s role is just as important.
Creating and nurturing a data-driven mindset within the company ensures the alignment of departments. They will understand the big-term goals and their individual contribution towards them. HubSpot is a great platform for each department to see and put to use data other teams have collected.
For example, insights collected by customer service and allow digital marketers to create more effective, value-driven campaigns. In turn, data collected through lead nurturing enables the sales team to come up with a better pitch.
Ultimately, storing your customer data on a sole platform allows each department to work together. As opposed to actioning on the individually collected insights. This creates a consistent, seamless and highly personalised customer experience.
Every decision you make should be data-driven. Be it changes in brand positioning, product development or something as simple as moving a button further up the page. When practising inbound, your decisions are made with the purpose of adding value to your audience. This means that the most valuable data comes from them.
That’s why it’s so important to have a customer insights strategy in place. This is the key to future decision making and its success.
Although this works in theory, many organisations are unsure of how to gather customer data past the use of analytics platforms. HubSpot CRM provides a set of tools designed specifically for collecting customer insights, as well as analysing and implementing them. With that said, HubSpot should certainly have a place in your CI strategy.
Unsure how to engage your audience in a way that allows you to gather relevant data? We will point you in the right direction.