While first party customer data has always been important, the post-cookie, post-COVID customer will demand that their data is leveraged for bigger, better experience outcomes. At a time when empathy in marketing and business has become a key ingredient for success, we cannot stress enough on the importance of deep, 360-degree understanding of customers to enable these empathetic, delightful experiences. Simultaneously, every individual customer today – thanks to their brand interactions across online and offline realms – creates high volume data lakes that often, we find brands unable to leverage this data quite enough to deliver hyper-personalized, hyper-empathetic experience. This is a dangerous place for brands. When consumers notice all their structured and unstructured data points, opinions, and feedback unaccounted for in their everyday brand interactions, they quickly move on to competing brands that have a better grip on customer data and analytics and are able to implement it across the customer journey.
The good news in all of this? That with the democratization of data and related platforms, every brand today has a fresh opportunity to rethink its data and analytics strategy. Here are three ways in which brands across sizes can now leverage customer data for high business outcomes.
Data enrichment to understand 360-degree audience profiles and personalized touchpoints
With the vast amounts of data now available from online and offline platforms, brands can now build an anonymized single source of truth about each consumer. With customer intelligence and CRM integration, brands can now identify intersections and opportunities for highly personalized promotions, marketing messaging and creatives, and customer experience, especially for high value customers.
An example of this is our recent experience with a sports gear retailer. During lockdowns, as gym visits decreased drastically, the brand used a combination of enriched first party data to understand the workout behaviour of its most high value customers. It found that while some had moved on to new forms of workout like running and yoga, many high value customers needed a push in the right direction through marketing to get back to a fit lifestyle. Engaging these two segments with the personalized and unique creative and messaging at the right moments ensured not only reasonably high sales outcomes despite the lockdown, it also helped the brand transform to an empathetic well-wisher for the segment that needed a push in the right direction to reboot their healthy lifestyles.
Creating master identities for stronger segmentation, enabling highly personalized creatives and messaging across marketing touchpoints, and eventually, high value business outcomes is one of the key results of using customer data in the right ways.
Lookalike modelling to scale reach
There are many ways in which brands and agencies currently perform lookalike modeling for reach. They leverage topical interests using content consumption habits of their users to estimate any potential engagement with an ad, a creative, a promotion, a headline etc. Social media and predictive analytics based on past online behaviour also indicate users that are most likely to take a desired action – an app install, a purchase, a download etc. Over and above this, brands also have access to demographic as well as other offline behavioural elements through data companies such as Lifesight. By merging these customer behaviours with CRM, brands can find new customers that are most likely to engage with them simply because they share attributes similar to the brands’ existing customers. Lookalike modelling can be an effective tool for audience targeting and segmentation. It makes the process of identifying new customers who behave like your current customers not only easier but also cost-effective.
In fact, we recently concluded a campaign with a global consumer electronics and furniture retailer that launched its online store right in the middle of the lockdown. By merging CRM data with other online and offline attributes, the brand was able to scale the reach of its online store far beyond its existing customers. The result was outstanding – the campaign reached over 740,000 consumers and nearly 50% of the clicks resulted in a landing page visit at least once during the duration of the campaign despite the lockdowns.
Scaling customer data beyond marketing and CRM
At a time when business and advertising are both evolving rapidly in the face of new privacy regulations and the new demands of the omni-channel world, businesses and brands are rebuilding themselves. They are throwing out their old playbooks and making new data decisions on the go. What they make, where they sell, and to whom is all under a re-think. And for this, they not only need renewed data-obsession but also a renewed data strategy. It’s never too early to start. The answer to today’s challenges as well as those that will form the outcome of this global shutdown will lie in real world intelligence or a renewed data strategy that takes into account the connection between people and their online and their physical worlds. Deep insights about people and places and how they engage with each other – is rapidly becoming a decision support tool that organizations can’t afford to ignore, especially in times as uncertain as these. The business challenges will require every organization across verticals and sizes to leverage deep CRM data and analytics for daily decision making. Organizations must plan – and plan fast – to complement their existing data sources with real world intelligence about people and places in order to turn data to crystallized, actionable, and deep insights for decision-making that promises highest ROI.
When organizations make decisions with these real-world insights about people and places in their data mix, they will discover new opportunities, processes, consumer needs, behaviours, and business models for a brave, new world that will slowly yet steadily come out of their homes and start travelling and shopping again but a lot more mindfully than before. A holistic data strategy is what will set the winners and losers apart, as they compete for consumer attention like never before.
Customer intelligence platforms are equipped to maximize customer data value
Data collection is no longer a complex mechanism. However, turning these customer data points to actionable insights is where brands need to invest. The answer is in customer intelligence platforms. Next-gen customer intelligence platforms – such as Lifesight – are equipped to enable brands to deliver empathetic, hyper-personalized, high ROI experiences across business functions – in product and service portfolios, loyalty programs, after-sales, in marketing and communication, in retail locations, as well as in omni-channel experiences.
We are entering a new era of consumer insight and analytics by combining the power of deeply personalized yet anonymized real time, actionable insights and the ability to deliver empathetic, personalized experiences across the board.
Reliable customer intelligence platforms allow brands to befriend their consumers like never before, thus earning lasting trust and loyalty.
The sooner brands and businesses join this revolution, the faster they will equip themselves to deliver to consumer v2020+.