Every Customer Has a Story
Data-driven marketing lets every customer interaction be an important part of a
To create a competitive advantage for their companies, marketers are asking themselves a critical question: “What do we aspire to do tomorrow that we’re unable to accomplish today?” For many marketers, the answer can include:
- Create more qualified leads
- Reach a wider audience
- Respond to our customers in real time
- Segment and personalize our lists based on multi-channel customer activity
- Know our customers better
In answering another question, “What would we do if we knew more about our customers?” marketers can make every cross-channel interaction an important part of a long-term relationship. By gathering the right data and unveiling necessary insights—and by being where our customers want and need us to be—we, as marketers, can create multi-channel customer engagements that help forge meaningful relationships and bring value to the organization.
A customer’s online purchase history might indicate that he loves single malt scotch and big game hunting, but a social media profile might also reveal his affinity for teacup poodles.
Getting to Know You
The formula for knowing your customer’s story is to collect and connect all of his or her cross-channel data, from social to mobile to email to the Web, to create a holistic view of that individual’s interests, activities and influencers. A customer’s online purchase history might indicate that he loves single malt scotch and big game hunting, but a social media profile might also reveal his affinity for teacup poodles.
If you’re missing any one of these pieces of his profile, you’re missing opportunities to develop more meaningful interactions that speak to all of his unique interests. By adopting a customer-centric, multi-channel understanding of each person, you can respond more quickly and more appropriately to his or her needs as a unique, multi-faceted individual.
In fact, with true data insights and analytics, you can even study the past to better predict your customer’s next move. When done effectively, this feels a bit like engineered serendipity—and it leaves customers happier, more satisfied and more willing to be your brand advocates.
Understand and Exploit Deviations
Of course, there are times when people won’t behave as you’d expect. The best stories always have a plot twist, after all. For example, a financial services customer might examine online mortgage rates on your site without ever opting to use your mortgage calculator even though you’ve determined that is the next likely step in the path to purchase.
By connecting the dots of his complete multi-channel experience, this perceived misstep might just reveal something more important about your customer and what you can do to better serve him. Perhaps instead of a lower percentage interest rate, he is more focused on different loan terms. Rather than continuing to offer him a series of lower rates, a better scenario—based on all your data—might be to offer a more appealing loan payback time period instead.
A deeper and more thorough understanding of deviations from the normal path to purchase is a critical component in serving each customer’s unique terms. Most current technologies can stitch together a classic “abandoned cart” strategy, but solutions that also allow an understanding of a more complex story through integrated, multi-channel analytics is critical to developing stronger, more loyal relationships.
A Magical Customer Experience
A seamless experience feels a little magical, but never invasive. When executed expertly, the perfect multi-channel interaction is:
- Not difficult to find, but readily available
- Not creepy, but useful and welcoming
- Not annoying, but entertaining and informative
Achieving this balance requires you to create an experience that plays a part in each person’s unique story. It’s an approach that keeps customers up-to-date, informed and in-the-know.
By focusing on all delivery channels, you can better understand each individual’s story from beginning to end. What you learn about a customer through email is likely very different than what you’ll learn about her through social channels. Both are critical pieces of who she is and what she expects from you.
The Multi-Channel Difference
The most sophisticated and integrated technologies ensure your customers go from anonymous to known so you can deliver the right message at the right time through the right channel every time. That’s a seamless experience, and it’s what your customers want, expect and deserve.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to delight the people who believe in your business, your message and your integrity. Happy customers help strengthen your brand awareness and drive revenue, and a healthy bottom line supported by loyal, satisfied customers is always a story worth telling.
Katrina Willis is a senior writer at Teradata. She has accumulated more than 20 years of experience developing marketing materials for high-tech industries.