The usefulness of customer data doesn’t end when you make a conversion.
The most effective long-term use of customer data is to create brand advocates who are so loyal to your brand, so excited about your products, that they become voluntary sales reps for your company, telling friends, coworkers, and even strangers on airplanes about their passion.
To leverage consumer data like this, you have to keep up on where your customers are spending their time, what their unmet needs are, and, going back to the definition of what it means to be a customer-centric business, "providing mutually advantageous solutions."
The time and money you spend turning customers into brand advocates is well spent.
84% of consumers still prefer to make purchase decisions based on word of mouth recommendations.
Plus, if you create an ambassador or loyalist program, you can create opportunities for interactions with your most vocal customers, collecting primary data from them that you can then incorporate into your strategy.
To build a brand, you have to, at the same time, build a community: a tribe of people that are devoted to the same symbols and ideas that your company represents.
Your product developers and your marketers can't be allowed to work in isolation—they need to be exposed to and informed by consumer insights.
When everything goes right, it turns into a virtuous cycle, where customers inform products and messaging about products, while at the same time being informed and influenced by the messaging and products they have helped create.
It's a win-win.
And your fans will keep you on track as yu leverage their enthusiastic feedback into testimonials, focus groups, and referrals.