The Critical Value of Information

The more you know about customers' behavior the better you can serve them.

The current trend in management is to embrace the concept of Big Data and the predictive analytics that can be parsed from it.

The real value is in the understanding of your customer’s behavior so that you can maximize every sales opportunity. A whole new job description and title has emerged to capture those who are involved in predictive analytics – the data scientist.

Let’s take a simple example to illustrate the value to be gained – running a pizza shop. In a busy store hundreds of pizzas are made every day with all varieties of toppings. If you were able to keep track of how many plain, pepperoni, meatball, and other combinations of pie’s that were made on each shift you could optimize the amount of ingredients on hand. You could even make the most popular combinations in advance so customers that wanted those varieties could get them faster.

In addition, if you also were able to track the drinks by size you could offer customers special pizza/drink promotions to keep them coming back. This would also apply to whatever else you sold in your pizza shop.

Another benefit of tracking volumes of pizzas by varieties of toppings is the ability to also track sales by hour and day, which allows for better management of labor. So the combination of better inventory management with better labor management, and faster customer service, equates to increased profitability and higher levels of customer service.

You may not need a sophisticated predictive analytics software package for a high volume pizzeria, but the benefits of a better, faster, and more accurate system that allows for the better management of any business is obvious from the pizza store example. By just knowing more about actual real time customer preferences gives you the opportunity to maximize every sales opportunity.

If you marry this with collecting customers' e-mail addresses you have an opportunity for a wide variety of online promotional activities based upon what’s most popular from your real time data.


Robert M. Donnelly is the author of: Guidebook to Planning - A Common Sense Approach, an educator: Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Saint Peter's University, and a brand builder and marketing expert. His new book: Personal Brand Planning for life is a guide for anyone w...

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