The marketing technology space is becoming very crowded. The 2015 edition of the marketing technology landscape (a “supergraphic” put together by MarTech Conference program chair Scott Brinker) featured 43 categories from 1,876 vendors—nearly double from 2014.
The conversation about marketing tech has focused on the usual suspects: social media marketing, CRM, content marketing and analytics, to name a few. But there’s one crucial category that’s not getting enough attention yet: customer intelligence. Sure, big data and data science are part of the mix, but as we’ve written before, big data alone is an insufficient source of customer intelligence since it doesn’t capture the why of customer behavior.
In a recent interview with Techvibes, Vision Critical Founder Andrew Reid explains why customer intelligence needs to be a bigger part of the marketing toolkit. Today’s business landscape requires companies to get closer to their customers, according to Andrew, and marketers need real-time access to insight in order to create more compelling marketing campaigns and deliver a better customer experience.
“Customers have more power, more control, more ability to impact brands in a more significant way than ever before because of mobile, social and the cloud,” Reid tells TechVibes. To gain a competitive advantage, marketers need to engage with their empowered customers and turn them into brand advisors.
The article revealed how Vision Critical customers use our customer intelligence platform to make better marketing decisions. By enabling companies to engage thousands of customers in a private setting, insight communities “allow product managers to work through a sea of data, make sense of it, and prioritize how they drive their products forward, or ensure that a message will resonate with their broader target audience,” according to the article.
Insight communities are powerful because they connect marketers with engaged customers—something that’s not easy to do with social media and ad hoc surveys. When you have an engaged community of customers, the quality of insight increases.
Customer intelligence has become an indispensable piece of the marketing tech stack because marketers need quick, reliable customer feedback on their marketing programs.
“[Community members] want to participate because they’re intrinsically motivated, because they actually care about the brand, they want to impact the brand,” says Reid. “If we can give them an experience that matches the experience that you have every day when you’re on Facebook or you’re using other connectivity tools that actually feels intuitive and feels friendly and approachable, you can create a great connection, and through that connection you can get those genuine, honest opinions and that feedback that you want to help drive great decisions.”
Customer intelligence has become an indispensable piece of the marketing tech stack because marketers need quick, reliable customer feedback on their marketing programs. Spending on marketing tech is expected to reach $120 billion in the next decade alone. As marketers put more investment in digital tools and in delivering a better customer experience, the importance of gaining a deeper understanding of the customer will only grow. Companies that prioritize customer intelligence now are in a better position to stay ahead of the competition and win the business of the increasingly empowered customer.