There is no such thing as a typical customer journey – shoppers are browsing, buying, and interacting with brands in more ways than ever before.
Meanwhile, with 41 percent of consumers conducting research online but buying in store, it’s clear shoppers are taking advantage of the diversify range of methods to complete their purchase journeys.
Multiple online touchpoints, combined with brick and mortar store visits and offline marketing strategies, result in fragmented data sets across the customer journey, offering an overwhelming number and variety of insights for marketers to comprehend and action. Furthermore, this data may be outdated, contain duplications, or deliver conflicting insights, presenting an obstacle to achieving accurate measurement of campaign success. This is undoubtedly challenging for businesses looking to gain the coveted 360-degree view of consumer behaviour to improve marketing performance.
The huge amount of time and effort needed for businesses to understand the implications of each and every piece of data available to them means they risk losing sight of the experience they are delivering, which can damage the brand. So should gaining a 360-degree customer view be the priority for marketers?
Putting Customer Experience at the forefront
To contribute to business success, marketers must first establish an accurate view of their organisation’s overall objectives, before identifying the challenges preventing them from meeting these aims. While an understanding of how and where consumers interact with a brand is important, it would be a mistake to focus all efforts on untangling every possible data point to create the perfect 360-degree view. Such a task costs significant time and money, and is unlikely to solve a business’s biggest pain points.
The real question is how marketers can use their data to benefit, enhance, and personalise the Customer Experience, and ultimately boost ROI. By identifying the campaigns and creatives appealing to high-value consumers, and where their efforts are most effective, marketers can anticipate customer needs and direct spend to the activity most likely to impact the bottom line. And in an age where 52 percent of consumers are ready to abandon brands if they fail to deliver personalised communications, leveraging customer data to meet individual needs, desires, and preferences is essential to unlock that all important lifetime value and make a lasting impact on business success.
Start small and grow
Naturally, once marketers identify this area of priority, many will aim to gather as much data as possible to achieve the perfect Customer Experience, but spending more time looking at the data than taking action puts them at risk of ‘analysis paralysis’.
To see quick results, marketers need to adopt a strategy that gives a simple and unified understanding of consumer needs; using the readily available data existing within their business. Consolidating this data into a unified customer data platform (CDP) is the first step, allowing organisations to remove duplication and access clear insights across all measurable touchpoints.
Once this solid data foundation is built, techniques such as multi-touch attribution (MTA) allow marketers to gather useful insights from their data to understand which tactics work best. The result is stitched together insight into interactions across multiple channels, empowering marketers to see which are most effective and increase customer understanding.
Marketers can then use predictive analytics to fill any information gaps they have. Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) looks at interaction, incrementality, and the lasting impact of channels to help optimise marketing spend and increase campaign performance. For example, marketers can analyse how offline influences, such as TV ads, are impacting online channels, and take these insights into account when planning and optimising campaign activity across the entire marketing mix.
In an age where customers want and expect personalisation, despite their unpredictable shopping habits, marketers cannot afford to skip on consumer insights. But ensuring action is taken from the start is key to being able to put the customer first and drive results. Using the right tools, marketers can ensure they do not neglect the interests of their customers while they work to achieve the most comprehensive view possible of audience interactions – allowing the creation of the personalised experiences their customers crave, boosting customer loyalty, and ultimately delivering on business objectives and revenue goals.