I’ll begin this not with a stat, but a statement from an IBM report:
CMOs in outperforming organizations invest more effort in capturing and using data to foster customer relationships. (IBM: “From Stretched to Strengthened,” 2013)
Let’s examine this closely: outperforming organizations invest more in capturing and using data. Not just any organizations, but outperforming ones. The implication: If you want to be an excellent organization that surpasses its competition, you need to be tracking data well and applying any insights to create more personalized communication with your customers. In other words, what do outperforming organizations use this data for? Fostering customer relationships. By getting closer to your customers and better meeting their needs, you are creating value. Richer data leads to an enhanced understanding of customer desires and behaviors. Using this knowledge to give your customers what they want builds trust and strengthens the relationship.
1. By 2015, 71% of new business leads will originate from the corporate or brand website (SiriusDecisions, 2012).
It all starts with the website. Your website represents your brand and is the 24/7 virtual location for customer education, interaction and conversion. With always-connected customers increasingly going mobile, this also means your website has to work well on mobile devices, or you risk losing 48% of the U.S. population, or 143 million mobile Internet users (eMarketer 2013). Make your website an invaluable and user-friendly resource, and you will profit. Make your website an afterthought or user-hostile trap, and you will lose customers. How many leads is your website currently generating? Are you turning away potential business with confusing navigation, missing calls-to-action, restrictive forms or slow pages?
2. 89% of marketers say email is their primary channel for lead-generation (Forrester Research).
What has your email marketing done for you lately?
3. 84% of consumers want a seamless experience across channels (Retail Systems Research, June 2013).
Is your Web presence strong and fluid across channels? Is your message consistent across platforms? How well do you connect the digital to the traditional (or online to offline) when applicable?
4. 48% of all emails sent are now opened and read on a mobile device (Return Path).
If your emails are not mobile-optimized, then they’re not converting at the rate you want. In fact, 63% of US consumers say they delete emails immediately if they are not optimized for mobile (Return Path). How much of your user base is mobile? Are you wasting email marketing dollars? At minimum, mobile emails require simpler templates, bigger fonts and easy touch targets.
5. 78% of all shoppers use the Internet to research and purchase products and services (Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, “Catch and Keep Digital Shoppers,” 2013).
This ties back to the first stat: Business leads (and sales) are coming from your website. Is your website helping or hurting the cause? How mobile-ready is it? How customer-friendly (i.e., user-friendly) is it? Does it help people solve their problems?
Photo courtesy of Iqbal Osman via Flickr.