Harnessing and understanding customer data can offer businesses the chance to find new leads and increase their revenue in an increasingly competitive marketplace, an expert has claimed.

Dave Peters, chief executive officer and founder of Emagine International, recently laid out some of the potential benefits that can come from working out how to deal with information gleaned from the behaviour of consumers.

He suggested that such data, if used effectively, can have a revolutionary and galvanising impact on the world of marketing and advertising.

Writing in Digital Marketing Magazine, he explained that customer information is not a novel thing but in “recent years the amount of data available (from the internet, social media, mobile, credit cards, transport and building infrastructure and so on) has become so vast that we can really only make sense of it with the help of automation and machines”.

Indeed, businesses have carried out a rudimentary type of this analysis for many years – think of the owner of a small shop noting that a particular brand of biscuits sells more than the others and purchasing extra of them, for instance.

So what’s changed? As well as the remarkable expansion of information pinpointed by Mr Peters, the sophistication and power of automated CRM and big data analysis systems has improved over the last decade.

The Emagine International founder expressed his hope that the emergence of this kind of automation would make it easier for marketers to engage in creative processes and produce innovative work.

He added that siloing relevant information can be a real value-adder for B2B and B2C firms.

“Customer interactions are relevant and valuable, and customer experience can be easily tracked and improved, providing marketers with the opportunity to create rich records of what a consumer wants while creating greater “stickiness” with the brand,” declared Mr Peters.

Extracting more valuable insights from consumer behaviour is likely to be the biggest trend over the coming 12 months, he concluded.