From Data to Dollars: 3 Ways to Turn Insight into Action

Today’s volume and variety of consumer data has presented businesses with a unique paradox: understanding customers and providing them with increasingly relevant experiences is both more possible and more difficult than ever before.

While 99% of businesses consider data and analytics to be important to their organizations, 85% of executives are struggling to accurately analyze and interpret their existing data (KPMG Capital). Yet relevant, data-driven user experiences are so in demand that 80% of executives believe companies that fail to embrace Big Data will soon lose their competitive advantages and possibly face extinction (Fox Business).

Let’s take a look at three distinct ways to fully operationalize customer insights across channels to grow revenue and relationships. Then, we’ll map out three key steps businesses can take to start turning data into dollars.

Email Marketing

Email has proven to be one of the most lucrative and long-standing digital marketing practices. A recent study by Experian shows that for every $1 spent on email campaigns, businesses see an average return of $44.25.

The ability to understand and segment audiences based on their unique demographics, interests, behaviors and more enables organizations to build highly relevant campaigns that drive conversions. In fact, using customer data to effectively personalize emails results in 6x higher transaction rates than non-personalized messages.

Leading brands like Virgin America increase acquisition, conversion and retention by triggering and targeting emails based on customers’:

  • Locations
  • Birthdays
  • Favorite Brands
  • Purchase Behaviors
  • Personal Preferences, and more


Of all the marketing tactics used by businesses, advertising has the most potential to displease current and potential customers. 58% of consumers admit to being annoyed by ads they don’t need (Marketing Charts), and irrelevant ads are everywhere. Consider the following stats:

  • The average person is served more than 1,700 banner ads each month.
  • Display ads have an average clickthrough rate of 0.1%.
  • An individual is more likely to give birth to twins, summit Mount Everest or complete NAVY SEAL training than click on a banner ad.

However, a recent report by Neustar shows that companies using first-party consumer data to bolster ad campaigns can boost conversion rates by as much as 98%. Case in point? The Canadian Olympic Committee was able to increase ad conversion rates by 106% by understanding, segmenting and targeting their audience based on first-party identity data.


Would readers rather peruse a category of recent articles searching for news in their areas, or be served a list of content pertaining to their locations and topics of interest? Would shoppers rather waste time on a site where they can spend countless hours browsing products they may not be interested in, or be presented with showcases of items featuring their favorite brands, all available in their sizes?

A recent Infosys study found that the purchase patterns of 86% of consumers are influenced by personalized offers and deals. Similarly, 78% of consumers believe organizations that provide custom content are interested in building good relationships with them (CMO Council).

It’s no surprise that consumers are more likely to subscribe, engage and purchase when presented with content and products that align with their specific needs and interests. Major brands like Sephora, pictured below, do a great job of personalizing experiences by keeping careful track of customers’ preferences, purchase histories, wish lists and more.

A Three-Step Data-to-Dollars Strategy

No matter the channel, to turn consumer data into dollars, organizations should follow these three simple steps:

Step 1: Identify Customers — Businesses should give anonymous site and mobile app visitors the option to identify themselves via customized registration forms, and make the process even more painless by offering both traditional and social login. With a concrete view of consumer identity, brands can build out more complete customer profiles by collecting and aggregating cross-channel identity and behavioral data.

Step 2: Implement A Schemaless Database — Organizations need to select a customer identity management database with the ability to collect and normalize both structured (name, location, gender) and unstructured (interests, relationships, behaviors) data. By reconciling these two distinct data types, businesses can tie particular characteristics to valuable actions, as well as segment audiences more strategically.

Step 3: Integrate Customer Data Across Channels and Campaigns — Establishing a single customer view is imperative for creating cohesion across today’s multi-channel landscape. Brands must make sure that their marketing and service applications have the ability to “speak to one another” in order to effectively personalize experiences from touchpoint to touchpoint.

For more information about how to most effectively manage today’s volume and variety of consumer data, download our free eBook, “Achieving A Single Customer View – The Holy Grail for Marketers.”

By Rachel Serpa