Today's businesses are rapidly awakening to the fact that they are sitting on huge wellsprings of data, and so they are rushing to integrate analytics and intelligence into their CRM operations.

It's easy to see why. Effective data collection and analysis are essential for better customer relationships.

A 2018 MIT Sloan study, Using Analytics to Improve Customer Engagement, found that 59% of respondents (up from 51% in 2015) recognize that analytics are key to gaining a competitive advantage for their organizations. And as an example of effective data use, the report notes Mall of America's use of free Wi-Fi access hotspots to gather data on foot traffic patterns, time spent in particular locations, and visitor counts during mall events.

Data + Insights: Here's the Deal

Using insights gleaned from data to create a single, unified picture of each customer gives an organization the information it needs to make decisions on how to acquire, interact with, and retain customers by improving offers, messaging, and customer experience. Analyzing data can segment buyers and predict customer behavior to better tailor marketing and sales activities and develop more efficient customer acquisition strategies.

In short, data + insights eliminates guesswork and hunches and backs every decision and marketing and sales activity with solid figures and metrics.

But getting to this stage requires more than just acquiring basic contact information. Ultimately, you need to transform the organizational culture and capabilities to generate trust in big data to fully benefit from the power of analytics.

In the meantime, though, here's a short-term road to success so you can generate long-term buy in.

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image of Alicia McCarty

Alicia McCarty is director of marketing for Leadspace, which provides data intelligence for B2B sales and marketing. She is experienced in email marketing, inbound and outbound demand generation, database management, and marketing operations.

LinkedIn: Alicia McCarty