Every marketer strives to provide customers with a seamless experience across each retail touchpoint. Consumers expect that from brands, but what they experience often falls short. We call this the customer engagement gap, where experience and expectations clash. To bridge the gap, you need to look beyond your omnichannel goals and strategy and get to the heart of the matter: customer data.
You probably have multiple data sources storing information on your customers: marketing automation software, social and web analytics, and more. But the amount of data you possess is useless if you can’t leverage it to inform your next best message or offer. Siloed, fragmented data is what is actually hindering your omnichannel efforts.
Overcoming the obstacles customer data presents isn’t impossible. To execute truly effective omnichannel campaigns, and to improve overall customer experience, start by addressing the four biggest challenges marketers face when it comes to customer data.
1. Achieving One Version of the Truth Through Identity Resolution
Without the ability to capture, integrate, analyze, and act on data, enhancing omnichannel journeys is impossible. It’s essential to have a single point of control over all your customer data to maximize the impact of hyper-personalized campaigns.
Identity resolution enables an organization to analyze an individual’s identity based on his or her available data records and attributes. When an individual is searched for and analyzed through an identity resolution solution, a series of algorithms, probability, and scoring is applied to find and determine any associated records. This process gives companies the ability to connect customer data from third-party providers, both digital and traditional channels, as well as the customer’s devices to establish a golden record.
Ultimately, the golden record will be the catalyst of your marketing success.
2. Integrating Data Between Digital and Traditional Channels and Devices
You can’t manage what you can’t see. If your organization is blind to customers’ behavior, then you can’t effectively engage with customers in relevant and personalized ways. For instance, if a customer receives an offer via direct mail, but she has already signed up for the same offer via her mobile device, that’s a disconnect in her experience that could be avoided with the right insights.
Data is responsible for much of an organization’s broken view into customers’ cross-channel
and cross-device whereabouts and behaviors. A survey by Periscope, a unit of McKinsey Solutions, revealed that 45 percent of respondents said poor data quality contributed to their lack of 360-degree views of customers and omnichannel struggles.
Making sense of the overwhelming amount of unstructured data and deriving insights that will drive strategy forward is a major challenge to overcome. Marketers are finding that customer data platforms (CDPs) solve this problem. The right CDP can access all data sources and types to get a complete and precise view of every customer.
3. Mending Silos of Specialty Systems to Create an End-to-End Platform
Technology fragmentation impedes true cross-channel success and leads to an inconsistent customer experience. Marketers are investing significantly more money in data-driven tools to avoid that. But managing and coordinating the growing set of disparate platforms, solutions, and interfaces in your technology stacks is a huge challenge.
As you explore different options, identify platform that use an open garden approach. That way, you can leverage existing platforms and data sources without replacing technology. This will make creating a clear roadmap for integrating your technologies that will allow for the frictionless flow of data across your stack much easier.
Getting your technologies to work better together will move marketers a giant step closer to your goal of delivering a cohesive and engaging customer experience across multiple channels.
4. Enabling Real-Time Data Capture, Processing, and Activation Capabilities
Leveraging real-time data brings tremendous value to today’s shifting omnichannel and digital landscape. Companies need to respond quickly and with relevance and value, or risk missing
a key engagement or sale, or even experience customer attrition.
Effective real-time marketing can no longer consist of sporadic actions. Instead, marketers must carefully design strategies and allocate resources to uncover the right audiences so they
may target them with the right content at the right time. Having the ability to respond in real time will deliver such measured interaction, but this requires having the capability to capture
data across all devices and channels, including those enabled by the IoT, and then respond in milliseconds.
However, there is zero value in capturing real-time data, structuring it, and processing it if we don’t have the analytics engines in place to respond in real time. That’s why it’s essential to set up real-time data feeds. To ensure that data is acted upon quickly, companies must also set up corporate data-handling policies and procedures across the enterprise to ensure all employees know their roles and specific actions to take.
It Comes Down to This
Marketers need to become empowered by data, rather than overwhelmed by it. And while you can have a thorough omnichannel strategy, it won’t yield results unless you have a platform you can trust to give you real-time insights to inform your next best action. When marketing is supported by reliable customer data, it’s easy to bridge the customer engagement gap and provide hyper-personalized, relevant omnichannel experiences to every customer.
Optimize Customer Engagement with an Omnichannel Strategy