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BizReport : Advertising archives : August 31, 2017

How to unify customer data for stronger engagement

There is more customer data readily available for merchants, publishers, and other advertisers than at any time in the past. Still, many brands struggle to understand their customers. This, according to one expert, is because customer data isn't unified.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Why is it critical for B2C marketers to unify all customer interactions?

Eric Keating, VP of Marketing, Zaius: In order to do their job effectively, B2C marketers need to understand why and how their customers shop. The more you know about your customers, the better you can target and personalize your marketing efforts. Without a clear record of all of the interactions a customer has had with your brand, it's all too easy to make mistakes.

Kristina: Could you offer an example?

Eric: For example, your customer may browse a few products on their phone, and then later buy on their desktop. If you can't unify the data and understand that the customer who browsed and the customer who bought are the same person, you risk sending out marketing that fails to target the customer accurately. At the most basic level, you could send that same customer a cart abandonment email when they've already purchased the product.

Resolving customer identities across channels and devices can also significantly increase the reach of your campaigns. We've found that coordinated and targeted multi-channel campaigns can drive up to 30 percent more conversions overall.

Kristina: How can B2C marketers unify their customer interactions?

Eric: This isn't as simple as pulling all of your fragmented customer data into a single location. The key is identity resolution -- matching a customer's interactions across channels and devices to create one single customer view and ultimately, a single source of truth for your business. We found that a loyal customer has on average six different identities, including various browsers and devices. Whether you build it in-house or partner with a software provider, without a single source of truth, you'll never be able to untangle the many overlapping interactions customers have with your brand.

Kristina: What's the key to successfully modeling the customer lifecycle?

Eric: Before you can truly understand and model your customer lifecycle, you need to start with the single customer view -- use a B2C CRM tool to track every single one of a customer's interactions with your brand, and make sure they're unified at the individual customer level. By tracking the full customer lifecycle from the first click, through purchase, and beyond, you can better understand how much effort it truly takes to acquire a new customer, as well as to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers. Our standard lifecycle model takes into consideration total purchases, from new shopper to loyal customer, and leverages other behaviors to determine whether that customer is interested in a product, considering a purchase, showing intent, or even at risk of churning.

Tags: advertising data, customer data, ecommerce, ecommerce data, Zaius

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