In a hyper-competitive market, brands that understand their customers deeply are the proven winners. The question is – how do brands get to know their customers better? The first stage in understanding is through the unification of all customer data available throughout an organization’s many touchpoints. This fundamental need is one of the reasons for the huge rise in the deployment of Customer Data Platforms, which Gartner has defined as:
“A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a marketing system that unifies a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modelling to optimize the timing and targeting of messages and offers.”
Customers expect consistency
Currently, customers interact with brands across an increasing number of touchpoints and expect consistency in terms of their experience across the myriad of channels (in-store, online, call center, etc.). Customer Data Platforms allow brands and retailers to gain a unified view of an individual’s interaction with their company. This aggregated data is then used to facilitate personalized customer interactions and drive personalized marketing strategies across various promotional channels.
The need for real-time personalization
However, while aggregation of data is a powerful answer for a holistic view of the customer, this data must be up to date. More often than not campaigns are still being based on historical data – resulting in reduced effectiveness and ROI. As we are seeing, the era of one-to-many marketing engagements is over – where one notion or offer is sent to large segments of the customer base. In our digital world, people now expect one-to-one personalization and, for that to be dynamically responsive as circumstances and offers change. The biggest and the best already do this, but if you don’t, not to worry. There is a way to catch up!
Intelligent Guided Selling (IGS) captures new customer intelligence
Customer Data Platforms are invaluable for the unification of existing customer data, but capturing data from first-time customers has not previously been possible. Digital strategies must now look to encompass real-time data feeds and to be able to capture intelligence from new customers as they browse. Building this data into agile, personalized marketing campaigns will then significantly boost conversion rates and revenues.
Intelligent Guided Selling is the deployment of a personalized customer journey on a brand’s website. The journey is a sales aid that guides customers through a series of dynamic, real-time responsive questions and effectively provides in-store expertise online – delivering a huge increase in online sales. The dynamic responses are then also fed back to the core Customer Data Platform for a massive increase in the available customer intelligence that allows tightly marketed offerings that deliver greater results.
Personalised customer journeys deliver tremendous insight
The response to various dynamic questions along the journey provides the brand with tremendous insight into a customer’s inspiration, mindset and desired spend. These are the key moments that matter along the customer journey, the real-time results capture not only the ‘who’ but the ‘why’ behind individual purchasing behaviors. This type of data is tremendously valuable to a Customer Data Platform. When brands know their customers and make personalized offers, everyone wins.
“83% of consumers are willing to share their data to enable a personalised experience” – Accenture Pulse Check 2018
IGS provides a 360-degree view of the customer
First-party data is data that has been collected directly from consumers and is invaluable to brands and retailers alike. It’s qualitative and accurate because it comes from the customer. More than that: businesses own first-party data. When brands are effectively leveraging Customer Data Platforms, they are better able to establish efficient automation aligned with privacy requirements and marketing needs.
This level of personalization resonates with consumers. In a study conducted by both Harvard Business Review and Maritz Motivation Solutions, when customers were told that an offer made to them was being provided based on trusted sharing of customer data, click through rates rose by 11%, time spent viewing the offer rose by 34% and revenue grew by 38%. This level of acceptable personalization builds loyalty and drives revenue.
However, with the death of third-party cookies now assured by the actions of Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers and soon Google Chrome, the easy ways of tracking consumers and appending data files are nearing extinction. Brands who relied on unknown or third-party customer data will now need to more intentionally pivot towards a first-party data strategy.
Leading Customer Data Platforms (CDP)
There are several CDP providers, from Tealium to Exponea to Adobe and a number of others. Conversity is vendor-neutral and works with all major platforms. Integration with IGS and any CDP is a simple, inexpensive, and non-time-consuming exercise. While Conversity adds the new customer data element, a comprehensive Customer Data Platform pulls together the following types of historical information.
- Identity Data – who they are, where they live and how to reach them
- Descriptive Data – what do they do, how do they live, who do they live with and how do they spend their time
- Quantitative Data – transaction detail, e-mail communication, digital body language, customer service interactions (all part of Recency Frequency Money – RFM – analyses)
- Qualitative Data – what motives them, what do they think, value, and believe
These platforms – together with real-time new customer data capture – can facilitate far superior marketing initiatives, that are more integrated and personal in nature. Marketing is only as good as the quality and breadth of your dataset. Incomplete data means businesses are unable to connect the dots between customer data sets and therefore miss out on building meaningful customer segments and precise messaging.
Garbage in, Garbage out
A good Customer Data Platform strategy requires quality, real-time data. Leveraging too little or assumed customer data can backfire on brands.
“74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalised.” – Instapage, June 14, 2019
If intelligent guided selling is a service that you think could round out your Customer Data Platform efforts, let us know. We would be delighted to discuss the various applications with you. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.