Astute brands know that the exchange of legal tender when a customer makes a purchase is not necessarily the most valuable part of the transaction. Throughout each step in a customer journey (or journeys), a customer provides something of equally high value to the brand over the course of the brand-consumer relationship: data.
Data drives revenue because it is the key ingredient in the delivery of a hyper-personalized customer experience that ultimately increases revenue lift. With an approach that elevates data to a revenue-driving engine, a single transaction is a part of a bigger picture, one in which every conceivable data point contributes to a single customer view and the lifetime value of the customer. Social sentiment, behavioral triggers, weather conditions – everything that contributes to a fuller understanding of the customer can be viewed as a potential revenue source.
Customer data provides the key to a treasure map leading to greater riches for the marketing organization, turning data clues into a hyper-personalized experience that creates value for the consumer and the brand. Unfortunately, data by itself is about as useful as buried treasure. It needs to be activated by in-line analytics that turn it into the next best action for any one customer, whether that action is in the form of a message, offer, or content. Value is fully realized when these actions are delivered to the customer at just the right moment, seamlessly orchestrated into their omnichannel journey. In this sense, data is a vital revenue-driving engine for any brand with the desire and capability to turn data into insight and results.
Customers Will Pay for Personalization
The potential rewards for brands with a desire to monetize data are immense. Analysis by the Boston Consulting Group revealed a potential revenue increase of up to 10 percent by brands that create personalized experiences by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data for their customers. Conversely, inaction is more costly than status quo. Frost & Sullivan estimates that companies globally lose more than $300 billion each year due to poor customer experience – with more than two-thirds going directly into the coffers of competitors.
Capturing revenue lift from customer data begins by ensuring the data is precise, accurate, and accessible. The kind of hyper-personalized experience that drives revenue demands it; otherwise, customer data loses marketing value. With accurate and easily accessible data, a marketer can keep pace with a connected customer who is accustomed to engaging across multiple interaction touchpoints on multiple devices throughout a self-directed digital and physical customer journey.
Machine learning is the activation engine that turns customer data into real-time, actionable insights at scale and at the pace of the customer. Machine learning algorithms continually optimize a customer experience by unlocking next-best action recommendations in real time that are in the context and cadence of the customer and result in the hyper-personalization that drives the needle for a consumer. In one survey, nearly 80 percent of consumers said that personally relevant content (offers, notifications, messages) positively influenced their intent to purchase.
Machine learning is essential because of the nearly infinite permutations of a dynamic, omnichannel customer journey. Applying intelligent orchestration and real-time decisioning to a next-best action recommendation is the final step to the ultimate monetization of customer data.
Intelligent orchestration produces the relevant content that provides revenue lift by personalizing every interaction across all channels, devices, and touchpoints. Done right, such a well-placed, well-timed offer or interaction is the “wow” factor that customers reward with wallet share and loyalty, impressed by a brand that meets them wherever they are in the journey at the right moment of time.
A Single Point of Control Unlocks Data Value
A single customer view, advanced analytics with machine learning, and an intelligent orchestration layer that touches the consumer constitute a single point of control over data, decisions, and interactions. In the context of monetizing customer data, a single point of control is the printing press that turns otherwise worthless paper, in this case data, into currency.
Many marketers chasing the pot of gold of the modern, hyper-personalized customer experience make the mistake of over investing in the last mile to the consumer, believing that the next transformative social channel, mobile app, or other touchpoint to the customer will bring untold riches and differentiate from the competition. The problem with this approach is that comes at the expense of a consistent omnichannel experience across channels, which is what customers expect. More than half of consumers in a Boston Retail Partners survey said that a personalized experience across all digital channels within a brand is important. A new mobile app that offers the best user experience in the world is great, but if you’re only chasing the shiny new object you run the risk of introducing customer friction by not being able to recognize a customer across all channels at the point of interaction.
A single point of control over data, decisions, and interactions is the key to these types of frictionless experiences consumers now expect, while also setting up marketing to optimize their return on investments. The speed and scale is now available to deliver the perfect recommendation for each individual consumer, leading to optimal results and freeing marketing from difficult investment decisions. It is now possible to get past the state of today’s market where some may over invest in collecting data without using it, over invest in off-line analytics without in-line analytics, or over invest in siloed, last-mile processes rather than the orchestration of each channel relative to the potential in the market.
The relative low cost of data storage makes this an opportune time for marketing organizations to rethink their investment strategy to better capitalize on a single point of control. Previous decisions on how to allocate precious resources are being rendered obsolete by open garden technology that allows marketers to leverage their existing investments in engagement systems and data. Combined with capabilities to deliver a real-time platform for personalized engagements with perfectly aligned relevance across channels, now is the perfect time to fully monetize data.
Robust customer engagements hubs with an open garden approach provide marketers with the capabilities they need to achieve this single point of control. This is also future proofs their investments, enabling them to continually innovate customer experiences and giving marketers operational control over an effective use of all data – past, present and future. From a revenue standpoint, this is like having a seat in the treasury to watch as data transforms into currency with hyper-personalized experiences that customers reward through their pocketbooks.