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A look at the future of data analytics and customer acquisition.

In our tech-led world, businesses can now monitor everything customers do. Entrepreneurs who aren’t watching what their website visitors and customers do are stuck in the past. It’s time for business leaders to get data-savvy or be left behind.
This is especially true of a brand’s customer acquisition efforts. In the coming years, the process of analyzing customer behavior and acting on that information will only become more sophisticated.
Here are a few ways data analytics will continue to evolve.

Data-driven decisions.
Brands can watch even the most miniscule things using tools like Google Analytics. Chances are, you probably have this tech built into the software you use every day. If not, it may be time to upgrade.
In the coming decades, data will be everywhere. Businesses won’t make a single decision without first consulting the numbers. Predictive analytics will give you a hand with this, not only telling you what happened in the past, but also telling you what’s likely to take place in the future.
Imagine being able to know exactly which customers are likely to use your latest offer before you even click “send” on the email. That’s the future businesses are facing.

Personalized experiences.
As businesses grow, they tend to lose the ability to connect with each of their customers on a one-on-one basis, and customers are well aware of it. People have come to expect a level of personalization in services, so impersonal interactions in a one-size-fits-all model just won’t cut it for businesses wanting to stand out and succeed.
Nobody likes to feel like a number. In fact, some customers choose local stores because they like the feeling that workers know them by name.
As the integration of data analysis becomes more common, employees will have access to a customer’s information directly within the software they’re using, enabling them to deliver more personalized service. In addition to retention, businesses will use personalization to improve their customer outreach efforts. Targeted marketing is a touchy subject for some, but don’t expect it to disappear anytime soon. The way that analytics is already used to send marketing messages to individuals based on their specific interests is just the tip of the iceberg.
The future of marketing rests heavily on hyper-personalization, with each ad being targeted exclusively to customers who are most likely to act on it. Companies like Birchbox and Stitch Fix are already using this tactic—and with impressive results. Both business models are based on getting to know each customer and curating products specifically for them. Brands that can figure out how to make this approach work will be the ones who win all the new customers.

Artificial intelligence.
Data is the energy that fuels artificial intelligence. Over time, tech like Chatbots will become more sophisticated, with the ability to give the impression of being human. This type of technology is expected to expand to include the entire online experience, with websites eventually evolving to give customers exactly the experience they need, when they need it.
Businesses already use cookies to collect information on customer web-surfing habits. In the future, cookies may become obsolete in favor of other methods to gather and use customer information. Retargeting will remain an essential part of personalized marketing, but it will no longer be necessary to place something on a user’s computer to get there.

Data analytics is already a vital part of business success. With data analytics employment expected to grow 22 percent by 2020, it’s impossible to ignore the serious impact the field will have on every area of business. It’s important that professionals learn to gather and use data now in order to be prepared to compete in a data-driven business marketplace over the next decade.

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