In an effort to be trendsetters in the rising “big data conversation,” many marketers tout personalization as the new normal. At the same time, ironically, they lean on old data and antiquated ways of activating information about their customers.
Inadequate data is a serious barrier to knowing the real consumer. Even when the technology exists to do really interesting things, we lack the information to deliver on those capabilities. For example, customer address lists are a company’s most valuable asset, and it is projected that some $36 billion will be invested in CRM this year. Ironically, it is also estimated that up to 60% of CRM efforts will fail due to the inability to execute and lack of adequate data.
Fulfilling the tremendous potential CRM offers for improved marketing efficiency, customer experience, and profitability requires reimagining customer data and the traditional CRM model.
To enjoy and deploy this more complete, intimate, and holistic view of the consumer requires some new approaches to CRM data, including:
1. Multipronged matching: In a world of big data, information is most useful when connected and used in a connected manner. That means going beyond just matching cookies to housholds and, instead, accurately matching permission-based lists to all of the available digital identifiers at the household address level: IP addresses, mobile device IDs, as well as the cookies used by all of the devices in the household. Effectively connecting insights from every device in a household to a specific CRM record opens up new insights as well as activation opportunities—addressable TV, social media, mobile advertising, and more.
2. Enhanced 360-degree view: With connected data in play, the CRM provides a flexible base for marketing planning and deployment. But that’s only the beginning. Accessing the full potential comes when you bring more life to the data by enriching the consumer profile with both owned data—past online and offline interactions—and third-party data, such as real-time location, interests, purchase intent indicators, preferred retailers, same-day co-visitation, and other contextual insights. This enhanced view, constantly updated and appended with the latest customer activity, enables brands and retailers to anticipate consumer needs and to appropriately react to each point along the purchase journey.
3. Portable activation at scale: Leveraging this connected and enhanced data, the CRM is now ready for marketing activation. And in this new world of online-offline convergence, activation across a variety of outlets, including walled gardens, is absolutely necessary. To limit the data is to limit the effectiness of your CRM. That means ensuring the data is in a form that quickly and easily ports into a host of marketing partners, platforms, systems, and networks.
The world is full of signals–digital clues to who your customers are, where they go, and where they spend money. The challenge and opportunity is to sense and understand these signals for a full, real-life profile of your customers so you can deliver truly relevant, personalized content that motivate a purchase.
Marketers have the technology, and the data is out there. Brands and retailers that embrace it will be the winners in this new era of convergence.