Digital channels have revolutionised the way businesses interact with consumers. The trend towards mobile has meant that digital is now the fastest and most effective channel through which to engage consumers and encourage them to spend.
The Challenge: Who? What? How? Where?
To increase turnover and market share, businesses need to find new ways to reach and influence today’s consumer. The consumer is now multichannel (or omnichannel, if you prefer) – they will use whichever channel is most convenient for them at that time. So in order to reach them, a business will need to know who they are, what they buy, how they behave, and also, where they are.
Traditionally, businesses have been pretty good at the first two, because that’s part of any core operation. The last two are more complex. These are new data sources, and organisations often don’t have the time and resources to integrate that kind of behavioural information with the transactional data.
So, why is this important?
Your business will likely benefit from working with many different segments, based on both transactional and behavioural data. If you don’t already have a targeting strategy like this, you should. But let’s consider the most basic of setups. What if you simply wanted to know:
Which consumers are engaged online but have not yet converted into a sale?
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Indeed, many behavioural analytics tools will claim they can answer this question – and they can….if you only have one digital channel that customers log into. If you have multiple channels, and let’s face it, that’s everyone these days, that picture is much more complicated.
United We Stand…
Indeed, from our experience, the challenge often lies in a company’s isolated data sets. Frequently we work with organisations that have multiple, large datasets – each sat in its own silo and dealt with by different teams. This means that no one team has a 360 view of the consumer, which makes it impossible to reach out to them in any meaningful way.
Of course, in order to be usable and valuable, this information needs to be accessible in real-time. Only then can this insight be used to target customers effectively. Now, real-time can mean different things – depending on your business and how you want to target customers. It can mean “within the hour” to “within the second”. Not all analytics tools can provide data in real-time (especially on the latter end of the spectrum) so you will need to think about what level of responsiveness your strategy for targeting really requires.
Still sound simple? In our experience, most businesses could do more with the data that they have and would profit from working with a supplier to gain more in-depth understanding of their individual customer behaviours.
The Solution: Do More With Data
Station10 have worked with many leading organisations to enable direct and precise targeting of specific consumers, in order to encourage spending and therefore increase revenue.
The process looks something like this….
First, we set up the relevant Analytics tools to record individual customer IDs. These are then aligned with any and all datasets to enable complete customer tracking. Without this step, you won’t be able to analyse customers across different channels, so this step is fundamental.
Now, I hear many of you cry, “we don’t have logins or not all of our customers have to login before purchase. So, this doesn’t apply to us!”.
But, there are ways in which we can build a customer view without full login. For instance, you only need a customer to login once on a particular device for this information to be collected and used in the future. For those who don’t require logins, there are ‘probabilistic’ theories, and other methods, that can help to match customers where no login has occurred.
Still, if you don’t think that data matching like this will work for you, it’s always worth asking yourself the question: why aren’t we doing more to drive customers to login?
The more definitive you can get with your channel-matching data, the greater the benefits you stand to gain – and the better your customer experience will be.
Most businesses (outside of some specifically regulated industries) should be able to apply these principles to some degree. So, let’s assume that we have some sort of customer matching in place. We would then use this information to create customer-level segments, which would identify anyone who has been active online but not made a purchase, within a specific timeframe.
We next match these online IDs to customer records, extract these and send them to the relevant targeting system (this could be the DMP, or the email sending tool, or the web site CMS, or a push notification tool). Once established, this whole process can be automated to produce and share this segment at the same time every day with the relevant teams.
Remember, to enable truly precise targeting, it is important to collect and analyse customer behavioural data, alongside any existing Business Intelligence or CRM data. This allows real-time communications to be sent based on actual customer activity.
Once you have this level of customer insight based on customer behaviour, you can, for example, set up targeted e-mails and push notifications to reach specific groups of people at particular times. These might remind consumers of an online opportunity soon to expire, target customers who may have experienced an issue online, or inform customers using a particular feature of upcoming changes.
What Benefits Do I Stand To Gain?
This kind of initiative is not only beneficial; it is becoming essential in today’s digitalised consumer landscape. By working more effectively with its data, a business is able to:
- Increase turnover
- Improve consumer engagement
- Integrate its data sets and collaborate effectively across the business
- Gain a full 360° view of the consumer
- Precisely target specific consumers in order to encourage conversion
- Pave the way for future data insight programmes
Working with data insights in this way has changed the way many businesses interact with consumers. Station10 have worked with many organisations to help them, not only to better engage consumers but also to deliver a seamless customer experience.