You know what they say: Small businesses, BIG data…
If you haven’t heard that saying yet, then you’re officially living under a pre-millennial mossy rock.
Before I dive into what big data, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning can do for SMEs, let me make a small detour around what drives the Indian Startup ecosystem to all its shining glory today.
The answer is: CHAOS.
The truth is, that startups in India are told to make money, even before they make money. One of the major functional drawbacks of the system is that successful Indian startups have a lot to manage, and even more to micromanage. Sarcasm aside, why and how would technology hack the proverbial beanstalk of brand challenges?
Most SME’s that float in the ocean of brand management have ripples of limited funds, a single resource in multiple roles, no guarantee of ROI and tech delivery – worst of all – no technical expertise in case the fuse goes off.
Now let’s talk numbers.
Digitally engaged SMBs have twice the revenue growth trajectory than those who are offline.
•What most Indian Brand Managers don’t acknowledge, is that 90% of brand reviews are online.
•80% of customer service is driven by chatbots.
•According to Mckinsey, 70% of buying decisions are based on how customers are treated. Microsoft says that 66% of consumers have used three or more communication channels to contact a brand’s customer service.
•Finally, 40% of all data analytics projects, according to Gartner, will relate to customer experience by 2020.
So, the main question is: Is big data only for big companies?
The answer to that is ‘NO’.
Small businesses and brand managers are set to thrive in the digital ecosystem created with the raging benefits of big data and analytics, AI, ML and automation. Essentially, here are some of concerns that SMEs can harness the power of Big Data to conquer!
Establishing a market position
Gathering Business Intelligence in the digital ecosystem is like keeping sound knowledge of customer actions in sheer silence. Meaning, data listening can be overwhelming but not if your analytics platform is good. Ideally then, analytics would be thereby idiot-proof – which is mostly the point for SMEs who worry about fitting in.
Unique consumers are easily identifiable though analytical patterns that eventually end up providing insights toward a new and potential market line – see the scope already?
Brand Loyalty and Customer Retention
Machine learning is a great way to instill quick thinking in the platform. Which is why AI driven chatbots have pretty much taken over all FLR (First Level Response) touchpoints of customer experiences. When a brand trains its bot to engage effectively and quickly with its customers, it helps the brand incorporate a large database of people that have been attended to:
Whether or not they are happy – they are attended to – and that is the primary secret to customer retention.
Audience Targeting strategy and communication
Tracking patterns come in various forms, but one of the most effective results are brought by sentiment analytics. Sentiments are governed by a host of keywords that are carefully designed to pick up a sense of how a specific demography responds to brand communications, what they like, dislike, and are neutral towards. Of course, there are other reports, like marketing analytics, TAT reports, social media analytics, campaign reports, etc. and leverage from this data, a strategically planned communication.
Stronger and engaging experiences with customers
Online Response Management (ORM) tools helps brands manage their customer base and brand reputation. While limited work force form major drivers for automation, a well-designed ORM workflow involves all the right people, at the right time and can help take care of your customers in a highly personalized fashion. Thus, the whole purpose of Big Data comes to light and your brand is as personal to the customer as their own pair of winter-socks.
Data-driven decisions and performance
When real-time data funnels result to real-time altercations, a brand manager has numbers which translate to profitable business decisions. Good, right? Brand performances also come from well-observed brand history. Meaning, with the power of historic data derivatives which some CX platforms provide, a visible trendline highlights performance indicators of the relationship your brand and your customers have been having.
The point of Big Data is not to be intimidating, but to simplify overwhelming amounts of information that your clients/customers leave a bread trail of. As an SME, it is vital for your business to covert this data into effective insights for the purpose of holistically managing your brand. The way to that is already underway – and that is to invest in technologies that interpret data like your mother tongue. If you’re a part of the Indian Startup Sector, then there is no time better than now to wade through chaotic waters and make some gold as a customer-rich shore!
Head- Client Servicing