Categorize your buyers

We’ve recently discussed why you should identify your goals if you want to use digital technology to boost your sales. Now, let’s delve into another important topic: categorizing your buyers.

Today it’s not enough to simply wait for a customer to walk through the door. In one major retailer’s case, that’s exactly what they did, using a slim range of customer information to build very narrow profiles. In other words, this retailer was so focused on one small aspect of its customer base (in this case, the customer’s location), it missed a host of opportunities. By not considering, say, their customers’ age, gender or even marital status, the retailer was missing opportunities.

In response—and to reach a broader audience—corporate began using Microsoft tools to build contact, marketing and campaign lists. They even used LinkedIn to connect their regular customers with potential clients. They brought in experts who wielded leading-edge technology to capture the right data. Ultimately the team refined their demographics and created a more complete customer picture.

From retail to health

It’s no different in the health field. Consider patients as customers. A healthcare system can vastly improve its service by understanding its customer base. Keeping tabs on the patient experience (again, using topnotch tech and expertise) and understanding each patient’s needs helps providers continuously improve service and employee efficiency.

For example, each of a large healthcare system’s 400 hospitals had their own way to track patients, creating terrible inefficiencies. However, the system partnered with experts to help it build out detailed customer profiles using data, including patients’ insurance, medication, their doctors and other key information. These profiles helped the healthcare system not only treat patients more effectively and save lives, but also build customer loyalty.

From health to media

Big media companies can also benefit from digital tools to help them categorize customers. Specifically, they can build a digital arsenal to identify and prioritize which of their advertisers offer the best ROI. Asking the right questions can help media companies tease out the most profitable sources of their revenue.

Like retailers and healthcare systems, media companies can take a closer look at the data beyond one or two demographics to measure which advertisers are spending more—dollar for dollar. They may discover that they’re spending too much time and money cultivating a client that, in the end, is generating relatively little revenue. Digital tools can help unveil which clients are more profitable. In other words, what’s the dividend? How much are you earning from Client A versus Client B in the long run? It may be that Client A spends $1 million a year, and Client B spends $3 million over two years when you add the investment spent on each.

Every buyer contributes to the bottom line. But some require more attention. Identifying those buyers across the spectrum of customers can help you determine which will generate the most revenue and the strongest partnerships. By looking at the cost of opportunity and breaking down the journey of the sale with data-driven AI and CRM tools, companies can make smarter economic decisions. They can identify the right customer at the right time.

Digital tools offer greater precision. They can help you develop insights into your targets’ characteristics, what motivates them, predictions, forecasts—and their preferences. This component also entails building a set of buyer-centric profiles—using vast amounts of engineering resources, particularly data and AI.

Today’s unpredictable business climate has made it increasingly imperative to keep a set of continuously updated customer profiles. Go through the terabytes of data already on hand to tease out what kind of buyers are profitable—or your next targets. Screen out your best buyers from the less desirable. Keeping a customer is far easier and less costly than acquiring new ones. So, building buyer-centric profiles will help you discover who your most valuable customers are—who should be at the center of your sales efforts.

Discover the other key steps in winning sales digitally.