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Valentine’s Day 2017 is finally here and the love in the air is tangible. Couples are preparing for a beautiful evening together while us singles are preparing for, well, probably Netflix. But, nonetheless…Valentine’s Day, regardless of what your Facebook relationship status says, is a great time to take a step back and reflect on the relationships you have with the people in your life. The same can be said for your business, as well.

In an era of unprecedented choice where consumers hold all of the power, it has become vital for companies to be able to understand the wants and needs of their customers. You can spend hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars trying to prove that you love your customers, but do you have any way of knowing if they are loving you back?

Unfortunately, most companies can only see what their customers and prospects are doing when they are interacting directly with their brand (i.e. on their own website, clicking on their ad, or attending their event). While witnessing people on your own properties is certainly helpful, it’s not giving you the full, highest resolution view of their buying journey. Sure, they could be on your site reading about your products today, but yesterday they could’ve been doing the same thing with multiple competitors of yours, and you wouldn’t have any idea.

Enter the Love Doctor: Consumer Intent Data

Every time a consumer shops or conducts research about a product on internet, she is leaving behind a digital footprint that, if accessible, would allow you to see her journey toward a purchase. With intent data, you can not only see what consumers are doing on your own website, but also what they are doing around the web — giving you unprecedented insight into their purchasings intent in real-time. The better you understand the journey of a consumer, the better you understand how the consumer is behaving through her buying experience and the more appropriately and effectively you are positioned to communicate to her.

Just as consumer intent data applies to consumers, it an also be applied to your existing customer base. Consumer intent data can inform you when your customers are behaving in ways that strongly indicate that they are back in market or in market for a complementary product or service. When you have access to these signals, you can take actions to stop churn or identify when a customer is ripe for upsell or cross-sell opportunities.

It’s statistically proven that, on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase, so for every minute that you aren’t leveraging consumer intent data you are missing out on the opportunity to provide maximum value to them. Your customers aren’t playing hard to get, you just need the right data to know what they want. Love is all about trust, and if your customers don’t believe that you have their best interests at heart, or even know their interests in the first place, your company’s chances of receiving the final rose will plummet.