In the nascent days of mass marketing, someone somewhere thought it was a brilliant idea to address a mailer to “Jane Doe, or Current Resident.” The thought was that by hedging their bet, the communication wasn’t going to waste. I bring this up both to show how far the industry has come in terms of the level of personalization that today’s savvy consumer expects, as well as an intolerance for bad data, but also to illustrate the danger of getting it wrong.
In that era, when businesses lacked advanced personalization techniques and were forced to accept constraints from having imperfect data, tacking on “current resident” and similar types of half-measures were thought to correct for those imperfections. We think Jane Doe may live here, but we’re not sure, so hey – if she moved, we’re still covered.
Of course, it’s easy to see the problem with that approach. First, if you are Jane Doe, you’re slightly annoyed that the business communicating with you couldn’t be bothered to be sure. So how important can the communication be? And if anyone can open it, it certainly isn’t personalized for Jane, so she tosses it in the trash. The same holds true if, indeed, you happen to be the “current resident.”
In trying to be too clever by half, the brand not only wastes money, but it also creates a bad experience for any potential recipient of the communication, losing many potential customers along the way. If a brand does not care enough about me as an individual to clean up its data and ensure that every communication with me is tailored to my individual preferences, likes and patterns, then why should I bother giving it my business? Everyone knows that personalization is possible, so if they are not doing it, they must not care. Maybe I won’t care either.
Trust is the Central Currency
The previous example illustrates the importance of trust as the central currency of a relationship between the brand and consumer. Consumers are more apt to do business with brands they trust, particularly as omnichannel customer journeys become more dynamic and more digital. Consumers are hyper aware that they generate a wealth of personal data, and they want the peace of mind that the businesses they interact with honor their privacy and security, as well as their preferences.
Likewise, to engender consumer trust a brand must have complete trust in its data. As we see with the “current resident” failure, incomplete or inaccurate data that brands try to cover up with half measures or back-handed “personalization” attempts are woefully inadequate to meet the exalted expectations of today’s savvy consumers, with far more dire consequences than a discarded mailer.
A recent Edelman report, Trust Barometer: Brand Trust in 2020 drives the point home. From 2019 to this year, there was a double-digit increase (from 34 to 46 percent) in the percentage of consumers who say they trust most of the brands they buy or use from. That means that roughly half of the entire United States consumer brand is up for grabs for the brands that create that trust, which Edelman research indicates is a barometer for loyalty; 75 percent of consumers with high brand trust say they will buy the brand’s products even if it isn’t the cheapest – and it is the only brand of the product they’ll buy.
Break Free from Traditional Constraints
Yet too often, we see today’s digital equivalent of the “current resident” mishap – irrelevant or redundant emails, late messages, an overabundance of messages, an impersonal product recommendation, even the wrong image or text on a landing page. It’s a breakage in communications that solicits that very simple reaction from people; why am I bothering to interact with your brand if you aren’t investing the time and attention to get it right? It’s just not worth it.
The problem for many brands, though, is that they’re accustomed to bouncing up against what they see as institutional constraints in the market, chiefly due to poor data quality. Thus, the extent of their vision for a truly personalized customer experience, made possible by perfected data, is limited. Brands must break through this barrier, because the omnichannel customer experience and vision – not just in marketing, but across the entire enterprise for the entirety of the relationship – is the reality that current market leaders are working on today, and it is the reality of what customers expect today.
With trust as the currency for how brands extract value from their brand relationships every detail – however small – must be accounted for. Marketers or anyone in the enterprise who interacts with customers must not allow themselves to be constrained by the immaturity of technology. Rather, they have to find the tools that enable the vision for what can be accomplished with perfected data.
Wave a Magic Wand – Perfect Data is a Reality
That vision is ultimately the intention behind Redpoint In Situ™, the first cloud-native, data-quality-as-a-service (DQaaS) that delivers perfect data, with data in place within an enterprise’s own database, wherever it exists.
For anyone who works with data, or interacts with customers, In Situ is the magic wand, if you will, that truly allows them to realize the vision for engaging with customers with perfected data, without constraint. It supports and inspires bold action and data-driven decisions through the confidence that comes with knowing that data is rock solid.
In Situ fulfills those aspirations for what can be done with perfected data by putting data into a structure that supports decision-making and analytics, without requiring the traditional skills and technical expertise to do so with a high level of skill and accuracy. That, in a nutshell, is really the biggest obstacle to working with data – people avoid having to dive into the weeds or having to risk exposing their data by shipping it across the internet. Businesspeople just need it to work; they need their data to support a wide breadth of business use cases and decisions, and they want to do it without compromise.
In Situ enables the trust to capture customers who will only buy goods and services from brands they trust by performing comprehensive data quality and accurate identity resolution at the moment of data ingestion. Within milliseconds, it creates an unassailable unified record of a customer, or of an entity of value to an organization, whether it’s manufacturing parts, financial entities, households or individual customers.
The complexities that are now viewed as constraints fall by the wayside when identities are resolved in real time, when data is harmonized and perfected in an organization’s own security perimeter, and accurate data linkage is completed on a company’s own first-party business and customer data within the enterprise database, wherever it exists.
A vision of what can be accomplished with perfect data no longer has to be a fantasy, or some intangible wish list with little reality of coming true. In Situ fulfills any aspiration for unlocking the value of customer and business data, without constraint.