Social Media ROI, Big Data and Customer Experience

Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Social Media by Ruthann Swain

Well first I must apologise for being away from this forum for so long! Been a crazy many months! But I am back because I was thinking about ROI, Big Data and customer experience. I fear that we are getting away from our main point of doing business...the customer. I appreciate and understand the need to measure things, but at some point you need to go back to the basics and just listen. Or, in the case of small to medium size businesses, you don't have a choice but to stick with the basics. 

This thought process lead me to the need to justify social media cost. Customers use social media at various points in the buying cycle and it is sometimes hard to really understand how they actually came to buying from "us". But here is a thought, why don't we just ask? 

Couldn't we use Customer Scenario Mapping to see where the customer would use Social Media in their buying cycle, and wouldn't knowing that help us to know what tool and content to use? Wouldn't knowing that help us prove why it is important we have a Social Media presence?

Big Data and ROI has its place, it helps us see the big picture, it helps upper management make big decisions and it helps us allocate resources. But we as marketers must also remember that customers are not just numbers, each customer goes through a personal experience with us and our brand when they are choosing what to buy and whom to buy from. Focusing only on the end game, creating only content that addresses the "buy now" stage is a dis-service to our customers.

But knowing how they come to buying from us, what tools they use, what key moments move them closer to buying from us and creating content for each of those key moments can only make us better marketers. I don't believe we can really understand that from data, it must come from the "horse's mouth". Personally I think Customer Scenario Mapping is a great way to uncover much of it.

It's just a thought, I would love to hear what others think!

1 comment


  • Ronni_author
    Ronni Marshak on May 22, 2013 at 7:57 a.m.

    Welcome back, Ruthann! And thanks for the kick in the head to those who rely on data rather than the personal experience of interacting with customers to figure out what and why customers do what they do.

    The idea of including social media as an important touchpoint in Customer Scenario Mapping is an excellent one. Especially if facilitators explicitly ask when social media comes into play and in what ways--advice and recommendations from friends, company social media presence, games and contests, etc.

    Next customer co-design engagement, be sure that I will ask those questions! Keep contributing your valuable ideas.

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