Every customer action creates multiple data points. Every email click is tracked. Every purchase is saved. Every customer service call creates a record. Every loyalty action is remembered. This is true whether it happens within marketers’ own systems and channels or outside of them.
Marketers who use this data have a better opportunity to provide messages that resonate with customers and create more engaging experiences. Using the data that consumers provide helps brands build stronger relationships, ultimately creating more loyal customers and driving more revenue.
Your data, your way
The core of managing customer data begins with the technical infrastructure. Data architecture needs to be flexible and customizable to meet marketers needs. This doesn’t mean that marketers need to fully understand the underlying data models of their software, but they need to know what they are trying to accomplish so their internal and external partners can properly design the system. And this really starts with knowing what data is available and what kind of access they need.
Integrative by design
Built into any marketing systems should be the ability to connect with any data source by any means necessary. Marketers understand their customers better when they have real-time access to their data, so connecting to a point of sale system through an API guarantees that a customer who just purchased a product will be excluded from a campaign featuring that product. If the marketing software were updated with a nightly batch upload, the customer would shake their head wondering why this brand is trying to sell them a product that they just bought. This is not how to build a customer relationship.
Actionable customer profiles
A collection of data without context is just a series of ones and zeroes. Connecting that data to a single customer with a unique identifier is a way to understand that customer and begin to build a relationship with them. This single view of the customer lets brands create personalized messages that can achieve the one-to-one marketing that we have all been craving.
Exceed expectations, not data limits
Every day brands and their customers create more and more data. This trend will definitely continue as marketing campaigns continue to get more sophisticated and more personalized. Marketing systems need to be able to handle this scaling of data without limits. Remember that month when you exceeded your data plan on your mobile phone and you were hit with overage charges? Those sorts of financial disincentives should not be built into marketing software. They need to be built to handle the speed and accuracy required by the growing requirements of enterprise brands.
Activate impactful campaigns
The data of customers’ behaviors and preferences allows marketers to create campaigns that resonate with customers. All marketers know the adage that “right message, right time, right channel” is the way to get customers to respond, engage, and purchase. This doesn’t happen without access to data from within the marketing software, and it is specific data that is required.
The right message requires knowing what a customer has previously responded to and what they have already purchased. The right time requires understanding their customer journey and what pages they have viewed, what offers have interested them, and what content they have read. And marketers need to know what channels customers have used to send the messages on those channels.
Data really is the key to marketing to consumers and the sooner that marketers can wrap their arms around all of the data trails customers are leaving for them, the more likely they will engage customers and drive more revenue.