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Roundup of October news stories

Rachel Wheeler Archive

Like the passing of time, the growth of technology waits for no one. Whether you're ready or not, today's tech innovators continue to crank out tomorrow's great inventions, and their work is rapidly transforming the way we live our daily lives, not to mention how we do work. The arrival of new devices, new social media sites and new tools for gathering and analyzing data are all having a big impact.

As such, the world of customer data is evolving at light speed. In business, we're all constantly finding new ways to gather data and use it. Each month brings exciting developments. October is no exception - this was a month of new technology and innovative applications for it.

Here's a look back on four key stories that headlined the month.

An improved customer experience
In today's high-tech world, people expect a seamless customer experience. They expect to patronize businesses that give them fast, reliable services, and mobile devices will likely play a role. In October, it became clearer that having quality data can help make this happen, according to FirstBiz.

"Meet ever-increasing customer expectations when it comes to product and service delivery," explained Gautam Kulkarni, retail practice lead at Nihilent. "Reduce waiting times at home by providing real-time delivery options, selection of time slots, notification by email, SMS. Provide a personalized touch, and not just delivery."

Data quality holds the key. If you have good, clear information about your customers and what makes them tick, you can leverage it for countless advantages.

A focus on email marketing
So how can companies collect all this high-quality data they're striving for? One potential answer is through email marketing. Contacting people regularly via email helps foster long-lasting relationships, build brand loyalty and also tap into a great deal of data on each individual.

Business 2 Community recently highlighted that email marketing is the way to go for data-savvy companies. Jose Santa Ana, director of product marketing at digital messaging firm Message Systems, noted that according to McKinsey and Company research, email is "almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than social channels like Facebook and Twitter." It's a matter of building relationships and building them over the long haul - not just getting one like or retweet.

The data/sales connection
We also learned in October that there's a clear connection between data quality and sales. The more information you have about your customers, the better you can put it to use and craft your marketing and sales strategies accordingly, according to another Business 2 Community report this month.

"Ask anyone in sales operations, and they'll nod in agreement that a high-performance revenue machine requires a perfect process," sales expert Gregg Thaler noted. "Order of operations matters immensely, and those processes require the highest quality data possible to function at peak performance."

In other words, if you know your customers better, you'll be able to deliver that perfect sales pitch. Having the right technology in place is crucial.

Quality matters over quantity
Of course, having tons and tons of information is seen as a priority in business these days. "Big data" became a big buzzword overnight. But there's also a growing sentiment that quantity of data isn't what's really important. Quality is what counts. This notion was popularized in Insurance Tech by Kelly Sheridan, associate editor at InformationWeek Financial Services:

"Plenty of businesses believe that big data is solely about massive data volume, but it is actually defined by its volume, velocity, variety, and validity," Sheridan noted. "Its volume is constantly expanding, its velocity and variety are increasing, but its validity continues to wane."

Data quality will always be meaningful in our business climate, and that isn't changing. October's events only reinforced that notion.