Hail & Fail
#14 25th May 2017
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have unveiled plans that will require podcast listeners to log in. Apps and websites that require a customer/ user log in are great for not only large organisations, but everyone from hobby website owners up. Let’s take a look at what the BBC is doing, how it will benefit everyone and how you could apply their strategy to your service management business.
BBC Podcast Users Now Need to Login
The BBC will soon make it a requirement for anyone using their podcasts to log in before they can listen. Is this a good or bad thing for the BBC and its audience?
Because they are now collecting user data, the BBC will now need to pay attention to the data protection principles and the upcoming GDPR due to come into effect next year.
In addition to a username and password, the data collected by the BBC will be email, date of birth, gender and postcode. The reason for the Beeb going beyond simply a username and password has to be because they want to improve the service they provide to listeners.
If you’re a regular visitor to any of the BBC’s podcast pages, you may have noticed that they quite frequently request visitors to complete questionnaires. One of the most important things for the BBC is to understand what their audience want so they can provide more of the same or even identify areas for improvement.
In addition to understanding what the audience wants, with each user login, the BBC can build a picture of who their listeners are, what they like to listen to, when and where.
Understanding ones audience is the most important thing in effective marketing. A clear understanding of your audience allows you to provide them with a more personalised service which will help both customer acquisition and retention. Once you’ve begun to get a picture of your audience, you can then segment them and provide content tailored to each segment.
The BBC are probably going to segment their audience in the following way:
- Segmentation by age
- Segmentation by location
- Segmentation by Gender
Once listeners have been segmented, the BBC will be able to see the podcasts they listen to and understand exactly what type of person enjoys which podcasts. There may be differences between male and female or men age 22-32 in London vs men age 22-32 in Glasgow. Now, the BBC will be able to track that and provide a more relevant service.
If the BBC get permission to send updates to listeners, those listeners could subscribe to their favourite podcasts and receive an update whenever a new edition of a podcast on their list of subscriptions became available. The email updates would include a link to listen now and even a few news stories related to that particular podcast.
Other email updates could include recommended stories with links to podcasts related to stories a user had shown interest in. Amazon do a great job of using account activity to suggest relevant products, so the BBC could use its demographic data to suggest “People like you listen to ACME Podcast”. Even better, they could include an advert for podcasts with listeners of similar demographic profiles at the beginning or end of each podcast.
Requiring an account to access podcasts means not only being able to collect demographic data for people that listen to a particular podcast, but the BBC could also get a reasonable idea of who might be listening to live shows if users remain logged in.
Have you imagined the value of keeping a customer database? No matter how big or small your business is, knowing who buys from you, the location of your customers and the monetary value of each interaction with a customer will help you to grow.
Create and maintain your database
The first step is to create your database. It can be created in excel and should include all of the data essential to your business. Basic data that all databases should hold are Name, Address (physical and/or email), and Telephone Number After these basics, you need to include the most important things for your business. This could be the service type ordered, average order value, type of client (household, industrial etc).
If you install assets that need to be maintained or replaced at a given interval, the asset name/ serial number and next service date are examples of things that should be added to your database.
Now you have your database, it’s important to maintain it. This means keeping your customer’s contact information secure and up-to-date. You’ll now know when to contact them to service their assets. Keep a record of when you return, the costs and profit margin involved.
If a customer lapses, do you need to remove them from your database? At the very least, you need to archive them so they’re not in your main customer database. You then need to decide at what point you need to destroy their data.
More customers from your database
Let’s say you want more customers. Where would you start? I make £x from service y, so I’m going to do more of service y and I’ll make more money. Of course, that could work, but will it give you the best result possible?
Using your database, you will be able to see the type of customer that offers you the best profit margin. You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, where 80% of profit comes from 20% of your customers.
What else will the database reveal? It will show you the location of your most valuable customers and details about them. You can use this data to find more customers of a similar type.
Or maybe your database combined with market research tells you you have cornered the market in a given geographical area? Say you have a lot of customers in Birkenhead, but few in Liverpool. Using your database, you can understand the type of business you make good margins with in Birkenhead, then use that as a template to find new business in Liverpool.
You need to know who your customers are by profiling the customers in your database and creating segments. From here, you can perform any sales or marketing task with true purpose because you understand the intended outcomes.
- Build a database
- Comply with data protection principles
- Understand your customers
- Find more customers
With a database, you can take your business to the next level. You’ll understand who your customers are and this will help you to find more of the same.
What will you do today to start an effective database?