“When it comes to consent, companies must set up a transparent system for users to opt in and out of tracking. Consent once given can still be revoked by the user at any time,” says Ken Fine, CEO, Heap, in an exclusive interview with TalkCMO.
TCMO Bureau: How can enterprises effectively leverage innovative technologies to gain insights into their customers’ behavior?
Ken Fine: There are two key elements to leveraging innovative technology for better customer insights; one can’t have one without the other.
The first element is applying automation to data collection. In order to be successful, teams need the right data, and the only way to capture the right data is to capture all of the data. Applying automation technology to data capture ensures that there are no missing data points, no bias in pre-selection, and never an “I forgot to track it” moment.
Not only is nothing amiss, but this approach also eliminates confirmation bias from the data set. As much as the world tries, marketers simply cannot glean insights before they collect, or for that matter, pre-select what they think their key insights might be.
Many make the argument that all the data is overkill, but if they pause to think about that sentiment—they can’t use what isn’t there. With all the data, one has access to all of the answers—and most importantly, the ones never thought to look for.
The second technological element needed for effectiveness is the ability to apply data science to data so that it surfaces what’s most important on the brand’s behalf. Instead of knowing questions upfront, technology proactively tells what’s most important to ask and answer. It’s almost like Jeopardy, insights come first, then the questions emerge.
This proactive approach to insights is going to change how teams work. And with digital experiences taking over the world, this tech will help to fill in the gaps for your customers.
TCMO Bureau: Even with today’s vast amount of data extraction tools, why do enterprises fail to get required insights into their customers’ behavior?
Ken Fine: For many years now, data has promised to give teams the insights and objectivity needed to bridge the gap between products and people. While it’s true that developing a data-driven culture is difficult, and requires more than just data, one has to know by now that the primary reason enterprises are still failing in their endeavors is because the tools themselves don’t provide the right data or trusted insights. The data is incomplete. The insights are biased. And people know that. On a business and a psychological level, this lack of critical information produces all sorts of problems inside an enterprise— primarily, worry that decisions are wrong, and thus an inability to move quickly or even in the right direction.
An insight is something brands didn’t know before that should impact the business. For an insight to be meaningful and business-impacting, it must be true. And for it to be true, incomplete data must be found, so marketers can understand exactly where to make effective decisions that improve the product and experiences.
To go a step further, if an analytics tool isn’t actively showing teams the parts of user behavior that they’re not already aware of, particularly the parts of customer behavior that are most impactful for the business, I’d propose that said tool is actively harmful to teams. Biased information will continue to send teams down the wrong paths. Complete data plus the power of AI has the potential to course correct.
TCMO Bureau: How can enterprises gather data that enable them to enhance their product and services without intruding on the privacy of their prospects and customers?
Ken Fine: In today’s privacy-conscious world, regulators and technology providers are focusing on two things to protect consumer privacy; first, they’re abolishing third-party tracking, and second, they’re obtaining user consent for tracking. Now, enterprises must rely heavily on first-party data (data from their own website/app, rather than outside of it) to drive their product and marketing strategies. Because of this shift, teams must-have tools that collect first-party PII data in a legal and ethical manner.
When it comes to consent, companies must set up a transparent system for users to opt-in and out of tracking. Consent once given can still be revoked by the user at any time.
TCMO Bureau: What trends do you think will transform the analytics industry in 2021 and beyond?
Ken Fine: I don’t just think there’s a disconnect between digital teams and their customers; I know it. In a recent study, Heap found that 43% of consumers think the majority of websites were not designed around the needs of the end-user. And 80% of consumers think fewer than 75% of websites offer clear explanations of what they’re for and how to properly use them.
Despite these numbers, 95% of product teams say it’s “somewhat easy” or “very easy” for users to navigate and use their site. Clearly, these teams are not getting an objective view on their customers experience what digital teams think they know about how users experience their sites is very different from what users actually experience. That’s the trend. Here’s the transformation:
Data science is ready to extract knowledge from sites and products and develop in ways that connect the dots between teams and customers.
Additionally, when data science partners with low-code analytics tools, it will tell where to look— so one can uncover more unknown unknowns and quickly evaluate customer journeys. Because analytics tools that harness data science can be used by anybody, fewer teams will work in silos, they’ll share insights across departments, and product-led growth will explode. It’s so exciting.
In his 20+ year career, Ken has shepherded multiple companies through IPO and acquisition, scaled teams from $0-250M+ revenue, and advised over a wide range of verticals. Currently leading the next generation of digital analytics at Heap, Ken is passionate about creating great customer experiences, building inspired teams, and developing a vibrant culture that emphasizes accountability and empathy.