Small data, big results

The concept of collecting data on customers and prospects isn't a new one for most businesses. In recent years, however, the volume of data captured and stored by many companies has grown to the point of becoming a challenge in terms of curating, sharing and analysing, even with sophisticated data processing applications. All signs point to a continuation of this trend.

Managing and utilising ‘big data’ effectively is now on the minds of managers across many business segments, not just those with data-orientated roles. But what about the ‘small data’; the individual traits that define the personality of each customer or prospect?  To effectively administer a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) model in any company, regardless of size, it’s often the ‘small data’ that pays the biggest dividends.

At INFO/NATION we strive to establish a relationship with each of our 15,000 members in a way that is respectful of individual tastes and interests. By understanding our members we are in a position to help brands develop campaigns with multiple touch points – including print, online, direct email and events – that truly engage an interested audience and drive a desired behavior. Our business goes beyond the traditional media model of simply selling magazine pages, digital advertising or event sponsorships and instead favours establishing partnerships tailored specifically to meet the objectives of each partner brand while catering to the interests and demands of each member.

Relationships with members are established through personal interactions, tailored media products and luxury bespoke events. We value the personal details and anecdotes shared with us and go to great lengths to respect and protect these insights. By doing so, our members develop a heightened level of trust and over time they come to understand that the more details they share, the further we can personalise their membership experience.

With a high level of familiarity for each member, we are able to develop tailored marketing plans for our partner brands and reach prospective customers, not the masses. Not all members are interested in art, wine, horse racing, stamps, exotic cars, international real estate or space travel, so why communicate these very specific messages to everyone? As the gatekeeper between members and the brands wishing to reach them, we ensure marketing messages and event invitations are appropriately targeted to only selected, relevant members.

While mass media campaigns and brand-building efforts serve a useful purpose in educating consumers, creating brand image and driving aspiration; personalised introductions to customers who have a self-proclaimed interest in a brand’s products and services is where companies will start seeing their marketing dollars converted to sales.

While companies around the globe continue to focus on how to manage ‘big data’ and the issues that come along with it, others will shift their focus to ‘small data’ with a CRM approach that makes customers feel individual and drives ‘big’ results for brands.

Shawn Hiltz is CEO of INFO/NATION