Converted by Neil Hoyne

Neil Hoyne is the “Chief Measurement Strategist” at Google. This book was a fairly quick read, but therein lies a couple of good takeaways.

1. Collecting data is just the first step

With so many data collection options out there, collecting customer data has now become an easier task.

Previously, you may have had to manually record your customer’s data and design a good retrieval system, in order to understand them better. But today, you can choose to collect data across their entire customer journey from the time they land on your website till the time of first purchase and beyond.

But the ease of data collection had led to an overwhelming amount of data that many small businesses simply do not know how to interpret.

Hoyne shares some ideas in his book:

  • Segment customers by lifetime value, then look for defining characteristic for each segment.

The good way to start is to look at the easily attainable data like:

  • to look at how a customer discovered you,
  • how do they interact with your business, and
  • what they value most as a customer.

At this point, we tend to be looking at numbers and it is easy to start visualising our customers as just numbers on a spreadsheet. Hoyne warns against this.

Instead, humanise the data.

There had been a trend of “firing bad customers”, Hoyne warns against that. It’s just bad for the business and the brand.

He also points out that by working with your customer data, you’ll have access to more sensitive information like their names and emails. And we should make identifying each customer and their transactions, a key part of our business process.

If you have customers, you have data on hand. Start using it.

2. Always be “conversing” with your customers

The only way to understand your customer is to join the conversation. And a conversation is two ways – tracking what your customer did isn’t a conversation.

In short, ask questions, carry out surveys, get feedback.

Then, process the responses.

3. Three key processes to building a business

I liked how he summarised the three ways to building a business (as a marketer);

  1. Meet new people
  2. Improve existing relations
  3. Get people to stay in the relationship

Converted served a good reminder on how we should approach conversion by first collecting data, then humanising it.

P.S. these were my takeaways. You might uncover different lessons.

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