Mining Customer Chatter for Insight, Strategy & Impact

Customer insights are said to be the Holy Grail of Big Data. If that’s the case, then with all these new tools available, why aren’t we all drinking Kool Aid from our gold plated Grails?

Because lets face it, we all have more data – or at least the ability to collect, sift, filter and use this data – than we have ever had in the past.

Theoretically, we know more about our customers than marketing professionals have ever known. Thanks to a Cambrian-esque explosion of social media platforms it is possible to collect nearly as much data us government intelligence agencies. In fact, according to IBM, collectively we 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day – which means 90% of electronic data was created in only the last two years.

The challenge we face with Customer Analytics Initiatives isn’t collecting data, it is how we use it. Since marketing emerged as a profession, we have all faced challenge of delivering the right message, through the right channel, at the right time in order to influence purchase. Email is still, according to a Marketing Sherpa Survey, the preferred channel for 75 percent of customers.

And yet, for email marketers, all this data is going to waste because deploying it effectively is proving difficult. For the benefit of the customer and the brands we represent, we have to close the loop – to leverage the social within the CRM, to use our insights and deliver marketing with impact and relevance.


Ron Rogowski of Forrester Research has said that, “For customers, a major frustration is the inability of companies to leverage data to maintain continuity and context from one touch point to the next.”

A Strategy For Closing The Loop: Make Your Customer A Hero

Take a look at the music video by Ed Sheeran for the popular movie, The Fault in Our Stars.

Every frame of visual, every image, was crowd-sourced for this TFIOS video. Customers love it!

Atlantic Records, using the hashtag #TFIOSencouragements on Instagram and Twitter collected 3,800 images and photographs from young people in love. These were edited into the most popular music trailer for a movie in the history of YouTube, with 10.8 million views and counting.


Yes, it was a popular movie, book and musician – but unless it was a phenomenal video, would if have got that many views, without the material being sourced from the public?

Probably not.

The customer – in this case, the fans – are the stars.

With personalized, automated marketing, that’s now possible for any brand. The customer is always the hero of their own story; they want brands who recognize that and align their marketing with their aspirations. Savvy marketers are leveraging technology to make that happen, with great skill, in the way Atlantic Records used Chute to collect images and secure permissions for use in the TFIOS video.

Gregarious Narain, Chute’s CTO and co-founder told the blogger, Ann Handley, “All it takes is consistent engagement and collaboration. Your fans want to hear from you, talk to you and be recognized by you. They are no longer happy just consuming the one-way stream of content brands historically produced.”

With, your audience doesn’t have to be all sent the same message. You can gain insight from the data, use it to make them the hero of your marketing efforts. Finally a way to close the loop between social media data and what we already know about customers in CRMs.

Higher conversion rates are much more likely when the customer feels a close affinity with a brand, which happens when a brand puts customers at the heart of what they do.

Jeanette Russell
About Jeanette Russell

Passionate to engage stakeholders to solve technical and political issues through transformational initiatives. My deep understanding of technology, partnerships, marketing, advocacy, fundraising, nonprofits, startups and self-directed nature is my brand. I’ve created extensive partner networks, coalitions, spearheaded innovative campaigns and significantly increased revenue/funding for purpose driven ventures.

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