Until recently organizations have related to their customers, or potential customers, only by indirect methods, such as market research, focus group surveys, website traffic and Google searches. The reliability of these methods is limited and the cost is high in terms of the return on investment.
Another approach is gaining widespread acceptance thanks to the development of digital technology at affordable prices, and the availability of the necessary training for data analysts in each business area. It is not simply a question of having a total sample (n equals all), but above all of treating each person we deal with differently, rather than seeing people as the homogeneous mass suggested by previous methods, which surely gives an unreal picture.
Every individual behaves differently in the interaction but the good news is that now they leave a digital trail that can be measured and analyzed. How do you achieve this? Firstly by identifying the user of our services via all channels: website, mobile app, loyalty card, face to face, etc. The aim is to understand how the business functions from the customer’s point of view. This is perhaps the most valuable approach in terms of commercial potential, both now and in the future, as it allows us to detect needs which are not satisfied and develop ideas for new products, services or businesses.
However, the information provided by the data is not free and users will not understand (or authorize its use) if there is no added value for them. Needless to say, one must scrupulously respect the rules governing the processing of personal data and also be transparent regarding the use that will be made of each and every detail requested. As Genis Roca, who teaches the Postgraduate Course in Digital Transformation says “we have to earn the right to use data”. Especially because data give us a great opportunity to become service providers in the digital context. In the same way that the music offered by Spotify or the films available from Netflix are no longer products but form part of a service (access to authors, titles and viewing via streaming) for which payment is made on a continuous basis and not just when one buys a CD. Customizing each experience means offering services and this is one of the greatest potential growth areas for companies that are strongly committed to the digital transformation.
Director of the Master in Digital Companies, UPF Barcelona School of Management