Using Data Responsibly to Enhance the Customer Journey

The Data Imperative for Creating a Personalized Customer Journey

It takes six to eight touches to generate a viable sales lead. At each stop along the customer journey, your customers leave behind a long, winding trail of digital data.

With so much information strewn about, the most experienced marketers can easily wind up going down the wrong path as they attempt to meet up with customers and accompany them on their journey. If you get lost, your customers will too, except it’s easier for them to change course and head toward your competitors than ever before. It’s up to you to understand and navigate the journey responsibly, and capture only what you need to create a clear picture of your customer so you can guide them from prospect to advocate.

From our perspective — and those of the marketing experts featured in our newest eBook — data can serve as your compass, but only if you can connect it across channels and commit to using it effectively and responsibly.

Understanding the Importance of the Customer Journey Starts With a Single Step

The number of ways customers can engage with their favorite brands has exploded: online, in-store or events, on mobile apps, third-party sites, social media, chat, even by the old-fashioned phone. Each channel contains valuable albeit siloed insights that, when connected offer meaningful, unique signals from your customers.

On the flip side, as these data points increase, your customers expect unprecedented levels of personalization. If the experience you’re providing doesn’t meet or exceed their expectations, they can — and will — vent their frustrations by letting the world know what went wrong, or just leaving you for someone else.

Seventy-nine percent of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to reflect previous interactions the consumer has had with the brand.

- Marketo -

The Data Is There - Use It Wisely

Data can be a powerful personalization tool — if you can find it, and only if you use it with the utmost respect for your customer’s privacy. Multichannel complexity, paired with the fact that data gets collected at each touchpoint, makes capturing meaningful insights from your data difficult — even impossible — if your systems aren’t talking to each other. And if you don’t have a clear picture of your customer, how can you send them timely, relevant messages that increase revenue? Missed data is missed opportunity.

We’re all consumers and so we know this first hand. The recipient of an email for a product you’ve already bought. The target of your own organization’s digital advertising. Getting emails for flight discounts that never include your home airport or never acknowledge the business you have already given them.

Marketers are coming to realize that the data they need to deliver more personalized experiences along the customer journey already exists. They have transactional and behavioral data from the past, and are collecting more data with each passing minute. Seventy-nine percent of the organizations that exceed revenue goals are putting that data to use in a documented personalization strategy.

But the real trick is getting to the data you need in the first place, and then connecting it all on a single platform so you have the full picture. That’s where many marketers get overwhelmed and turn to the false safety of their comfort zone. That’s where you can leverage technology and the vast amount of data available to create a competitive advantage.

Leveraging Customer Data to Improve Customer Experience

Gone are the days where marketers tell consumers what’s what and expect to the consumer to follow. Consumers now wield the power, and brands no longer control the relationship. What is in your control, however, is the ability to responsibly address the data signals from your customer’s journey and take steps to build genuine, long-term relationships — even as your consumer continues to evolve. Personalize their experiences. Don’t keep sending them the same tired email pushing them to buy a car they already have. Make it last by upselling add-on products or services. And lastly, track results to determine areas for improvement and discover new opportunities.

Using Customer Data Responsibly

Customer data can be incredibly effective in building genuine, lasting relationship. But with great power comes great responsibility. Today’s marketers must strike a balance between being personable and crossing the line or they risk losing the loyalty of hard-earned customers. And as we know, trust can be lost in one moment, forever.

Improving the Customer Journey With Edge Data (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a reality, as edge data is already informing our lives in many ways. Already present in our homes and offices, connected devices speed up ordinary actions, providing greater convenience in the lives of consumers. For marketers, they can prove invaluable in collecting relevant data and delivering superior customer experiences unlike ever before. As consumers we are quickly becoming accustomed to having a smart speaker inform our day, our home-security systems record and alert us in real time and of course our phones signaling us to act based on our location and actions.

Personalization can help reduce acquisition costs by 50% and lift revenue by 5-15%.

- McKinsey & Company -

Get Close to Your Customer...Data

Your customers’ expectations will continue to evolve and rise. New channels will continue to crop up. And you’ll continue to be exposed to new data signals than you ever imagined possible.

The only way you’ll be able to provide real value as a partner along your customer’s journey is to responsibly address the data points you already have that can be used, and stitching it together with new data points across all your touchpoints. By leveraging tools that can help you collect only the data you need and combining data sources into a single view, you can put together a full customer picture and start personalizing your experiences so you stand a chance of rising above the masses to provide amazing customer experiences consumers are demanding.

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