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[DataDiary] Use your data for the benefit of your customers.

Looking for a silver bullet for your growth? Last week I met a company who actually found one. In a n
December 20 · Issue #3 · View online
DataDiary by InnerTrends
Looking for a silver bullet for your growth?
Last week I met a company who actually found one. In a nutshell, they use the following recipe:
Use your data for the benefit of your customers, not your own.
Let me explain.

Most of the times when we work with data, we look for insights on how to improve OUR own business.

The data we have describes the behavior of our users and customers. 
Despite that, little or very little is done in using this info to find insights that are useful for THEM and not only for US.
It may sound counter-productive, but hear me out: we would have more to gain if we left aside our interest for a minute, and focused strictly of our clients’ interest, and how this data could be used for this purpose.
In the end, a happy customer is a paying customer.
So… How can you do that? First of all, it involves a change of perspective. 
How does a typical company do it?
Let’s take an example. Let’s assume you are a company that develops an online ordering app for restaurants.
A detailed analysis of the behavior of new restaurants trying out the app reveals the following truth: if a restaurant doesn’t get at least 2 orders in their first week of activity they are very likely to churn.
It turns out that the first week in which a new restaurant starts using this app is essential in foreseeing their future behavior.
The goal is clear: get more restaurants to reach that milestone of 2 orders in their first week.
As a quick solution, you decide to develop a mailing programme or even a gamification system to convince restaurants to direct as many orders as possible via this app.
You launch it and then wait to see the what the impact is on the retention of the newly-launched functionalities.
Do you recognize this flow? Is it similar to the one you are using? This is, in fact, the most commonly-used flow we have encountered in mature product teams.
It is by no means a bad method. But I have recently discovered a company that implements a much better process. It is a company that develops an online ordering app for restaurants.
A better way: data for your customers!
Instead of using the classic mindset:
  • How can I use these insights that I discovered so that I have as many restaurant-clients as possible that place a minimum of orders in the first two weeks?
They thought about it like this:
  • How can I use these insights to help THEM, my clients, generate more orders?
They dug in the historical data, they made personas according to the types of clients they had, they interviewed them and then they got down to business.
The marketing and content teams started to write educational materials for each type of persona, with one purpose in mind: to help restaurants generate more orders.
The product management teams started to develop tools that were not at all the focus of the business but were meant to help restaurants get more orders (e.g.: an automatic tool for generating AdWords ads for a restaurant).
In the end, they launched an emailing programme and a gamification system, but their goal was to teach restaurants new ways of generating orders, and not for them to have more restaurants with a minimum number of placed orders.
A very subtle but important difference.
The focus is on the customer, not on the product.
Instead of using analytics to grow their own business, they use it to grow the business of their customers.
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