3 Strategies for Understanding and Implementing Customer Data

Developing a captivating online user experience for any brand depends on understanding what appeals to your customers. In fact, Econsultancy found that 52% of digital marketers agree that “the ability to personalize content is fundamental to their online strategy.” And, Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric, adds, “An organization’s ability to learn [about consumers], and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

While understanding how to personalize online content is vital to the success of your digital marketing plan, it’s no longer enough to implement a strategy based on good ideas, intuition, or even what has worked in the past. Consumers of today are complex and demanding, and if you’re going to capture and keep their attention, they require that you deliver the right information to them, through the right means, and at the right time. Interestingly enough, the answer to this consumer demand is at nearly every Internet marketer’s fingertips, because it lies in the data.

Even though 93.4% of marketers are collecting data about their customers, it’s no secret that simply having data doesn’t guarantee a winning marketing plan. In fact, it’s not a lack of data that presents challenges to marketers, but the challenge is the inability to garner the right information from the data and then implement it into an operative online marketing strategy. In order to help you utilize that gold mine of information that lies at your fingertips, here are some helpful tips.

1. Get a Single View of Your Customers

According to an Experian marketing report, 20%-25% of internet searchers will get to a website using 4 different devices every week. It’s also important to note that traditional cookie data isn’t able to track data and consumer behavior across all of these channels.

In order to really get a holistic idea of who your customers are and the behaviors driving value for your business, it’s important to tie cross-channel data to individual customer identities. To capture consumer identities in an effective and permission-based manner, many brands are focusing on customer registration, and implementing social login as a key part of this strategy.

Social login allows customers to easily verify their identities and enter your site using their existing social media and pre-validated user accounts across all devices. This makes it possible for you to tie consumer behaviors to a single user account, helping you build more accurate user profiles, and giving you insights to create more relevant marketing campaigns.

2. Update Your Identity Management Software

According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, it’s estimated that a retailer using big data to its full potential can increase its operating margin by more than 60%. With data at the top of the marketing game, it’s necessary to invest in new tools that will help you apply customer identity data more effectively into your marketing strategy.

In order to get the most bang for your data-driven buck, take the plunge and update your data collection software. Look for a database that has the ability to scale quickly to manage today’s volume of cross-channel customer identities and exabytes of mobile and social data. This database must be able to reconcile and normalize any type of data thrown your way – structured, unstructured, behavioral, transactional, etc. – as well as automatically manage privacy compliance and regulations.

Storing and indexing data in an organized, aggregate fashion makes analysis possible for marketers and other non-technical business leaders, taking the headache out of interpreting and implementing your findings while allowing you to reach customers with relevance.

3. Turn Your Data into Action

Finally, if you have the right data collection and storage tools, you are armed with the insight to understand who your customers are – what they like, how they engage, and much more. This type of information gives you the power to foster more purpose-driven consumer actions, build authentic customer relationships and predict future behaviors.

One highly efficient strategy is to group consumers into segments based on similar characteristics or behaviors to reach them with relevance at scale. Triggering communications based on specific events – whether they be life events like birthdays or on-site actions like abandoning cart – is another key tactic for building personal customer relationships.

One of the strongest ways to turn your data into action is to deliver more personalized user experiences. From greeting customers by name to recommending specific products, opportunities to personalize consumers’ on-site experiences are endless. By tying all on-site activity like socially shared and favorited recipes to a single user profile, McCormick is able to provide each user with a unique “Flavor Print,” or taste profile, which is then used to recommend recipes she may like.

Data collection is the key to reaching your target market, but you have to be able to effectively collect, understand, and implement that data. To learn more about how to effectively collect and apply customer identity data, RSVP for our upcoming webinar, “Identity-Driven Marketing: Know Your Customer Before the Journey Begins,” featuring Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer and special guest Ben Selland.

By Tobias Meyer-Grunow