Social networks have given consumers direct, real-time access to their favorite brands, elevating genuine interaction and connectivity as core consumer values. 79% of consumers state that their relationships with brands are more personal than ever before, and establishing a personal connection with a brand has become so important that 87% agree that there is more to making purchase decisions than “identifying a need, exploring options and purchasing” (MediaPost, 2013).
As consumers interact and share information about themselves across social networks and other channels, huge quantities of structured data (email, gender, birthdays, etc.) and unstructured data (interests, web actions, etc.) are created. Successful brands pay close attention to these psychographic and demographic signals to reach consumers with highly relevant messages at prime points of influence. With 68% of consumers agreeing that shopping today is less about brands or products themselves and more about what they are feeling and needing (MediaPost, 2013), understanding consumers and personalizing their experiences based on their unique identities directly impacts a marketer’s bottom line.
Think about it: would a middle-class consumer with four small children have stronger connection with a brand that sends her a discount for the local zoo, or one for a 5-star hotel? More than likely, she will begin to trust the first brand to provide her with relevant offers and content, increasing her affinity and intent to purchase, while deals from the second brand will remain unopened and expired in her inbox.
Not only is it important to accurately capture customer data, but it is also important to be able to filter through it and identify the right kinds of insights to create relevant customer experiences. Successful marketers are leveraging new database solutions that can track user identities across channels, reconcile both structured and unstructured data, and power influential marketing software with actionable consumer insights.
Your Next Move:
Put customer insights directly in the hands of marketers. Trade in traditional, restrictive IT infrastructure for the scalability and elasticity of centralized cloud storage databases that integrate with user-friendly marketing dashboards. When marketers can quickly access insights and adapt messaging and strategy to consumers’ real-time evolving wants and needs, customer trust and loyalty will skyrocket.
By Rachel Serpa