At parties, people sometimes start to tell me their personal problems when I say I'm an analyst. No, I'm not that kind of analyst, I explain. My "patients" are businesses with critical questions regarding their loyalty strategy and performance.
Still, the laments I regularly hear from marketing professionals often carry the same tone as those therapy-seeking party guests. As I've traversed industries ranging from cable television to financial services to luxury hospitality, I've developed a set of almost universally applicable diagnoses and treatments for traumatized marketers. Here are two of the most common laments. Have you experienced these symptoms? If so, you're not alone.
Symptom: We can't access our data.
Frustrated marketers in companies of every size and sophistication know that they're sitting on a mountain of potentially useful customer data, but technological and organizational roadblocks prevent them from accessing it. This lack of access results in limited visibility into the results of their customer loyalty efforts. What do we recommend?
- Treatment #1: Create a central data repository. Yes, it's true. Even in 2008, many big companies still lack a data warehouse. If your only source of customer data is the proverbial extract from the POS system, then you'll be fortunate to get a quarterly crosstab report—and even more fortunate if it contains actionable data. Kiss up to the CEO, hold a bake sale, or do whatever it takes get a warehouse.
- Treatment #2: