Customer Transaction Data: Can You Beat Groupon At Their Own Game?

Businesses in the Quad State are finding some very interesting correlations between who, what and when customers buy and their future buying tendencies.

Of course savvy business owners have always kept up this data with their own customer lists. (What’s that, you do not even keep a list of your customers? Wow. You are leaving a bunch of revenue on the table, but we will hold that discussion for another time.)

What we are talking about here is usually in the purview of the banking industry but transaction logs (aka in the industry as t-logs) might be worth the trouble to look into keeping a t-log. First, though, we need to build a ‘why to’ mindset.

Competitor Customer Data Can Be Seen? Really?

Well, not names of course—but in the hands of a good marketer, it would be pretty close. A marketer can extrapolate data and build customer-focused offers from your business…numbers do tend to give more info than gut-feel, right?

Now, you do know that there are companies that aggregate the information on the credit card transactions for every company in the United States, yes?

This data aggregation with the tremendous increases in computing power is the stuff that gives your local grocery store at your check out the ability to present you with coupons at check out on the stuff you like—or might like. The credit card companies take t-logs to a whole new level in data aggregation.

Imagine the possibilities that could arise if a Quad State business could look at not only their t-log, but also the transactions of nearby competitors. Do you think that would be worthwhile?

So, Does Your Business Do A Daily (Weekly) Deal Type Promotion?

The popularity of Groupon-type companies is amazing. Just look at Groupon’s current stock price for validation. Your daily deal consultants depend on this type of customer data—and your gut-feel—for developing your in-store offers. But what about the competitor data trending?

What if we could kick it up a notch—way up?

Quad State businesses have the potential to improve promotional targeting far beyond the capabilities of the Groupon-type sites.

As a for instance, instead of making a public daily deal, which captures many “cherry-pickers” and existing customers (who already know of your wonderful-ness in your products and/or services–hence you’ve just lost out on good margin), one could target it to only those consumers who are already spending on the same industry but not at a particular store or restaurant, hotel or garden center (and so on).

In this way, your own deals can be designed to avoid the risks of not generating incremental recurring customers.  These customers might be your current customers who regularly shop with you and thereby want to take advantage of your bargain.  Make sense?

We used to do something similar in the direct mail industry with our clients back in the 1970s and 80s. However, the depth of customer knowledge or demographics and buying habits in customer data available to marketers paled in comparison to today’s digital gold mines.

Of course with running a daily deal type of promotion, one has an instant grasp of whether the deal gig was a) successful—did I get close to sell out?; and b) could be tweaked for greater margins or beefed up for longer customer/patient/donor retention.

Do Not Discount Having a Great FaceBook Page for Your Business…

Analyzing t-logs (also known under data mining) can get you a ton of accurate information on your customers, but it is an expensive proposition.

Thinking clearly about what you are willing to give in exchange for a long-term customer in gifts, bonuses and/or outright good deals can give a business great metrics for scaling up their market presence. Yet good strategy doesn’t have to cost the proverbial arm-and-a-leg.

Recent changes by FaceBook have been a real blessing to Quad State businesses as it allows the business to harness the power of FaceBook and do their own customer data mining at a fraction of what analyzing t-logs could cost.

We Have Some Terrific Business FaceBook Consultants In the Quad State

Our QSBJ reporters seem to be running into some FaceBook business page builders on a regular basis. In our effort to promote the Quad State region, the QSBJ have joined with other professional organizations to find quality people who know the value of a dollar.

If you want information on building your company’s FaceBook page—or simply would like a second opinion on the one you currently have—there are some very capable (and extremely reasonable) people we can refer you to in the Quad State.

Send a quick e-mail to ReaderService@QuadStateBusinessJournal.com giving your firms info and someone will get back to you. ###

About Steve Lanning

Steve Lanning is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who has been creating his own paycheck since 1975 and loves to help others do likewise. As the founder of both the National Association of Business Coaches (sold in 2002) and the Consultants National Resource Center (for all marketers of professional services), he and his family have lived in three of the four states in our Quad State region. His passion is to see individuals and small businesses, start-ups to mature, discover and promote their strengths in building revenue streams individually, that, collectively, make for a strong region as reported on and celebrated by the Quad State Business Journal. He can be contacted at AdviceMarketing@gmail.com.

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