Today the average brand manages five social media accounts, four internal customer systems and one mobile application and the technical marketing stack is only getting more complex. As the variety of customer channels expands across in-store, e-commerce, mobile, social and beyond; the volume, variety, velocity and veracity of big customer data is increasing at an exponential rate.
Beyond this, practically every brand has an existing trove of actionable intelligence from their customers’ behaviors and tendencies. The challenge for most businesses is that the foundation of this intelligence lies fragmented across disparate systems and technology silos that aren’t connected. Given this, the majority of brands view centralizing, synthesizing and segmenting their cross-channel data as an insurmountable obstacle.
However, nearly every industry from automotive and apparel to food and footwear has innovative brands that are embracing advanced Consumer Management technology to centralize, synthesize and segment their dispersed customer data across their in-store point-of-sale networks, CRM platforms, e-commerce systems, middleware technology and social accounts. Once synthesized, this data delivers the ability to identify, understand and motivate their best customers. At its core, Consumer Management technology essentially provides a next generation CRM built specifically for Marketers to gain customer intelligence and deliver personalization to customers.
Best Customer Identification
While most brands have visibility into their best performing stores, channels and products; few are able to even identify their best or Most Valuable Customers (MVCs). In fact, over 25% of surveyed brands list the ability to simply identify their best customers as having the most valuable impact on their business. Once the customer data spanning all of a brand’s channels is synthesized, the business will have a holistic, 360-degree view of its customer base and will be able identify their top individual customers. And identify them not just by purchase value, but also by dimensions including longevity, frequency, recency, social engagement and evangelism.
Deep Customer Understanding
Once identified, Consumer Management technology can deliver multidimensional insight of individual customers and collective segments based on purchases, behaviors, preferences, trends and more. This helps the brand not only gain visibility into their customer base and business, but also provides opportunity, discovery around manufacturing, product development, bundling and seasonality. It also helps to identify traits of ideal customers in order to find potential shoppers who can be motivated to become an MVC.
Personalized Experience Delivery
One of the most-valuable aspects of Consumer Management is the ability to strategically engage customers based on their behaviors, tendencies and interests. Companies can now ditch the ‘one size fits all’ campaigns and promotions and deliver personalized, tailored engagements that are relevant to the consumer based on their activity and preferences. In fact, according to Marketo, nearly 80% of consumers say they will only engage a brand’s offer if it is related to how they previously interacted with the brand. In other words, they expect data-driven personalization.
This has been coined “omnichannel” by many. Having the ability to provide consistent, integrated marketing across a brand’s in-store, online, mobile, social, email, direct mail and catalog channels is incredibly valuable; particularly in order to understand, coordinate and manage customer touches and engagements effectively. Too often channels are fragmented causing the in-store operations team to lack visibility into the e-commerce group’s marketing efforts, and vice versa, which can be contradictive and confusing to customers. Gaining cross-channel alignment enhances the experience of the customer which fosters trust, loyalty and evangelism.
Evidence-Based Decision Making
While many brands continue to reluctantly rely on the “see what sticks” marketing approach, businesses that have the advantage of Consumer Management are driving their holistic and cross-channel customer engagement strategies from deep insight from valuable first-party data. The ability to manage this data on an ongoing basis allows them to understand real-time shifts and trends in their business in order to plan and react effectively. Big customer data coupled with Consumer Management technology has enabled a myriad of leading brands to become genuinely data-driven in both strategy and execution.
To take advantage of the wealth of customer intelligence that lies within a company’s fragmented, cross-channel customer data, customer-centric brands are relying on advanced Consumer Management technology to connect these data sources in order to gain a 360-degree view of their customers to identify, understand and motivate their MVCs.
Identifying and understanding the behaviors and preferences of their MVCs allows the brand to personally engage them with unique, strategic value propositions beyond tiresome discounts, sales and coupons that end up eroding margin and brand equity. Businesses are achieving this by driving the value of MVC experience without sacrificing their revenues or margin. While identifying and fostering MVC’s is a major goal to increase loyalty and the bottom line, it is also critical to understand the profile of MVCs to usher potential MVCs through an enhanced brand experience.
The simplistic, true value of advanced Consumer Management lies within the ability to clearly understand customers by connecting the fragmented data from their in-store, online, mobile and social activities. This delivers an unprecedented perspective of how customers interact with a brand, allowing marketers to increase the efficacy of their engagements by increasing the relevancy of their messages, offers, timing and channel delivery.
Aside from this, companies can leverage multidimensional customer insights with a Consumer Management solution which eliminates the need for a team of data scientists and the massive technical infrastructure to support them plus the massive associated costs, but still have the ability to unlock customer intelligence for businesses of any size.
The key to achieving this is first to change the brand’s mindset that big customer data synthesis is out of reach and then to embrace technology that goes beyond traditional CRM data input systems to deliver data synthesis, segmentation and ultimately personalized engagement to identify, understand and motivate customers.