Giving customers what they want — it’s what turns a lead into a buyer, a buyer into repeat business, and repeat business into referrals. Knowing how to create this perfect match between “need” and “knowledge of need” requires businesses to have the right tools and data to guide the way. This is what we call a customer intelligence platform.
Customer intelligence, also known as consumer intelligence, comes from a variety of sources. Customer intelligence analytics analyze specific details, including what customers have bought, what they’re searching for, and what they’re engaging with. It helps companies better understand their customers’ needs and the journeys they take to fulfill them.
Let’s look at how a dedicated customer intelligence software can help you connect the dots and inform your next best actions.
In this blog, we will take a closer look at the following customer intelligence platforms:
Meltwater Customer Intelligence Suite
But first, let's start with the basics:
What Is A Customer Intelligence Platform?
Customer intelligence platforms (CIPs) are powerful software tools that gather, analyze, and utilize customer data. They help companies gain a deep understanding of customer behaviors and preferences, which will help them make better business decisions.
These tools consolidate multiple data sources into a single place for easier comparison and trendspotting.
Data may include:
- Social media data
- Customer feedback surveys
- Purchase histories
- Customer interactions
You might also hear CIPs called customer intelligence software, consumer intelligence platforms, or customer intelligence tools. Same thing.
However, customer intelligence platforms are not to be confused with consumer insights platforms. Rather, intelligence focuses on collecting and analyzing the data, while insights give you the revelations you need to move forward. Check out our article on the top consumer insights platforms to learn more about the difference.
Why Do You Need A Customer Intelligence Software?
Customer intelligence tools provide valuable insights into various customer segments. You can learn more about their engagement levels, likelihood to buy from you in the future, and potential churn rates, for example.
Applied to business decisions and growth potential, customer intelligence software offers a myriad of benefits:
- Holistic insights: All your data in one place helps you better spot trends and patterns, which can lead to better customer experiences.
- Stronger customer loyalty: Understanding customers’ needs and wants on a deeper level gives you an easy in — a way to connect with them better than anyone else.
- Increased competitive advantage: Knowing your customers better than the competition does helps companies differentiate their offerings from lookalikes, making it easier to cut through the noise.
- Greater business agility: With a constant finger on the customer’s pulse, businesses can pivot swiftly and respond to changes without reinventing the wheel or slowing operations.
CIPs have the potential to revolutionize the way in which businesses engage with their customers. They enable personalized experiences at scale, such as hyper-targeted recommendations or customized offers based on customers’ preferences. This level of personalization not only increases customer satisfaction but also drives long-term loyalty and brand advocacy.
The Best Customer Intelligence Platforms and Tools 2023
Customer intelligence platforms help you pull data together to see trends and patterns and turn intelligence into insights. Here are eight customer intelligence software and tools to fuel your strategy.
Meltwater Customer Intelligence Suite
Meltwater customer intelligence combines AI, market research, and data science to create one of the most insightful customer intelligence platforms on the market.
Designed with global enterprises in mind, brands can discover what their customers think and feel based on billions of data points.
Rather than knowing what questions to ask, Meltwater surfaces trends and patterns companies might not have thought to look for. This leads to new opportunities to learn more about your customers and meet them wherever they are, even in places you have yet to explore.
Users can use this data to segment their audiences based on attitudes, behaviors, and other criteria. All data is delivered in real time and updated on a continuous basis, meaning you’re never out of touch with what’s happening with your customers.
Meltwater Customer Intelligence Suite - Key Features
- Global social data
- Audience segmentation
- Trend discovery
- Brand monitoring and analysis
- Real-time insights, 24/7
Online searches can reveal a lot about your customers, which is what makes Semrush such a valuable customer intelligence software. This platform helps businesses gain a competitive edge in the digital landscape with insights into web presence for themselves and their competitors.
One of Semrush’s standout features is the ability to perform in-depth competitor analysis. Users can track competitors’ online strategies, including traffic sources, keywords, and top products. This gives businesses direct insight into missed opportunities, allowing them to refine their own strategies.
Semrush also provides a treasure trove of data on customer behavior and preferences. Through keyword research tools, businesses can identify high-value keywords and phrases to help them rank higher in search. This data ensures businesses are resonating with their target audiences and can better connect and engage with their audiences authentically.
Semrush Customer Intelligence - Key Features
- Keyword research
- Traffic patterns
- Top products identification
- Competitive intelligence
When exploring customer intelligence solutions, it’s essential not to neglect free options like Google Analytics. Google Analytics grants you access to essential search-related data that’s relevant, accurate, and always up to date.
One of its shining features is its ability to provide detailed information about website traffic and user behavior. It tracks metrics such as page views, bounce rates, session duration, and conversion rates, shedding light on how users engage with your website. Using segmentation, businesses can dissect their audiences by demographics, devices, locations, and even interests.
Integrating with other tools like Google Search Console and Google Ads gives marketers a comprehensive view of their efforts. Businesses can correlate their marketing activities with website performance.
Google Analytics - Key Features
- Detailed insight into website performance
- Multiple engagement metrics
- Integration with other Google tools
ActionIQ pushes customer data directly into your CRM to empower your sales team to have informed conversations. Data based on customer behaviors and activities evolves into detailed customer profiles and audience segments, which can lead to more personalized experiences.
Businesses use this platform to identify at-risk customers, upsell opportunities, and brand advocates who can help you sell more, grow your brand awareness, and measure brand awareness. It also integrates with other popular tools, including Salesforce, Shopify, and Facebook Ads.
ActionIQ - Key Features
- 360-degree customer profiles
- Customer journey orchestration
- Audience segmentation
When you want to know more about your customers (or lookalike audiences), it helps to go straight to the source. That’s precisely the idea behind YouGov, a customer intelligence tool that connects you directly to millions of would-be customers. This self-service tool gives you actionable answers from your audience, from in-depth research to one-off polls and surveys.
This ecosystem of “living data” lets you go straight to the source to learn more about trends, wants, needs, buying behaviors, motivations, and more. With over a million profiling points, you can create deep customer personas that unlock more value for your marketing campaigns.
YouGov - Key Features
- Access to 24 million members
- On-demand insights
- Customizable customer data
Customer intelligence platforms allow sales reps to spend time on accounts and leads that are most likely to close. Leadspace develops buyer profiles and personas that can make these leads easier to identify.
It uses a combination of first-party and third-party data from leading B2B companies. This combination creates profiles in greater context and stores detailed information in your CRM for quick access.
Leadspace - Key Features
- Unified sales and marketing data
- Predictive B2B profiles based on intent and personas
- Designed for account-based marketing
Every phone call, email, and web conference with your customers can offer nuggets of wisdom about their experiences and sentiments. Gong mines for these nuggets and fully analyzes them to separate the gold from the pyrite.
Using AI, automation, and data analytics, Gong sifts through customer interactions to extract the most salient information that connects you to your customers. Sales teams can better understand their pipelines, learn what makes customers say yes, and focus their best efforts on the most promising deals.
Gong.io - Key Features
- Customer interaction data from videos, phone calls, and emails
- Industry-specific AI-driven insights
- Ongoing data updates
One of the critical aspects of customer intelligence is collecting data you can trust. That’s where Customer Thermometer can help, offering a low-lift way to take your customers’ temperature regarding your brand.
Adding a piece to the bigger customer intelligence puzzle, surveys put immediate customer feedback at your fingertips. They’re easy to implement and easy for your customers to complete. You’ll gain immediate insights into their experiences that you can use to make improvements or build on your successes.
Customer Thermometer - Key Features
- One-click customer surveys
- Multiple survey formats, including Net Promoter Score
- Third-party integrations
- Free trial available
Use Cases for Customer Intelligence Platforms
CIPs aren’t the only component to your customer intelligence strategy — you also need to know how to apply your technology to get the desired results. Let’s explore some practical ways you can put customer intelligence tools and software into practice:
Predict future buying behavior
Customer intelligence analysis can pinpoint products that certain customers are most likely to buy based on previous behaviors. This can help businesses to manage their inventory and ordering, send targeted advertisements, and move customers toward purchasing.
Segment customers for better marketing
Learning more about your customers allows you to improve marketing segmentation. Segmenting customers based on demographics, behaviors, purchasing history, geography, or other similarities can scale your marketing and ad spend, making it easier to send tailored communications and campaigns.
Retain customers who might churn
Identifying at-risk customers and understanding why they might abandon you for another company is crucial for reducing churn. Customer intelligence software can track customer engagement, satisfaction levels, and feedback, giving you the intel you need to take proactive steps to retain customers.
Map the entire customer journey
From initial awareness to post-purchase, customer intelligence tools visualize the entire customer journey. Use this data to identify pain points and opportunities for engagement and enhancement.
Leveraging Meltwater for Your Customer Intelligence Strategy
A customer intelligence strategy requires the right mix of tools and technologies that give you the next best thing to mind-reading. Meltwater’s expansive global presence brings you billions of data points from online and offline channels to create well-rounded customer profiles that leave no detail unexamined.
Request your free tour of the Meltwater Customer Intelligence Suite by filling out the form below: