The constant stream of customer data from several sources is not just intimidating but paralysing to many media brands. This onslaught can put a stop to any efforts to organise and analyse this information. This would be a mistake, however, as this customer data is a rich source of information that can help media organisations better understand their audiences.
Data mining – the process of analysing large quantities of data to extract valuable insights – can help media organisations expand beyond the basic personalisation of knowing a customer or prospect’s name and address. Data mining allows a company to recognise and track patterns that help provide a highly personalised, enjoyable customer experience.
Offering a personalised customer experience
Data-driven media organisations lead the way in providing customer-centric solutions, just think of Netflix and Amazon and their algorithms that personalise the users’ experience.
Data mining allows these platforms to offer products and programmes to users before they even know they want them. Around 35% of the products purchased on Amazon are recommended by their algorithm and 80% of the content watched on Netflix is based on the platform’s recommendations.
Netflix and data mining
Netflix’s 240 million current subscribers provide data that can be separated into two groups, implicit data and explicit data. Implicit data is when a user gives a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ click to what they are watching. Whereas implicit data can be described as behavioural evidence, for example, the user binge-watched five episodes of Friends so they must enjoy the show.
By analysing users’ viewing and rating patterns, Netflix’s algorithm uses this information to improve recommendations, increase engagement and better the user experience. This data also informs the company on what type of programs it predicts will be a success in order to produce them.
This type of data mining helped Netflix increase its original content by 80% in just a year from 2018 to 2019, averaging over one original show or film per day in 2019. It has also assisted the platform to double its number of users in just 5 years, from 120 million in 2018 to 240 million today.
Media organisations don’t need the millions of dollars of Amazon and Netflix to provide a personalised customer experience. The rapid improvements in web technology mean that not only is customer data everywhere, but it can also be tracked and analysed using free or low-cost online tools.
Also, your returns with data mining increase over time, so the more you know about your customers, the easier it is to provide them with precisely the kind of service they want.
The stats don’t lie
Often surveys carried out by media organisations to gain insights from their customers provide answers that don’t chime with reality, whereas with data, the stats don’t lie. For example, it is difficult to anticipate the reaction to a marketing campaign, promotional offer, or new website, but by analysing the behaviour of users you gain concrete insights that are useful when making adjustments.
We aim to have a great website with a cool design and excellent user interface. Still, these are not always the aspects that convert the best, and a conversion is a simple measure of a successful user experience. So instead of just trusting our instincts, analysing the data from users’ behaviour is where the true value lies.
Your gain is your customers’ gain
The benefits of data mining don’t just lie on the side of the media organisation, the customer benefits substantially too. By analysing consumer data, organisations can offer targeted discounts and provide loyalty rewards. User personalisation also means that customers save time and effort when searching for the right service or product.
By evaluating consumer data, media organisations can determine which services are popular and which are not. This leads to reductions in expenditure that can be passed on to the consumer, increasing customer loyalty in the process. This creates a loop where the more you understand the data, the better the customer experience gets.
Stand out from the crowd
In an overcrowded market, media brands can set themselves apart by implementing data mining techniques that improve and accelerate decision-making. By analysing their internal data, organisations can spot patterns, gain new perspectives, and change trajectories faster.
The ability to gather consumer feedback is critical to finding new market opportunities and additional revenue streams. This can be completed in several ways; from asking customers to give feedback to a review site, to a simple thumbs up/thumbs done button click following an interaction with your brand.
In mining this data, media organisations can create value for themselves and their customers with the information they have available that would otherwise not be apparent.