Excellent CX requires first party data and robust strategies, survey finds

With the imminent shift away from cookie technologies, customer identity data optimisation will be greater than ever before.

Brands must look at managing their data collection strategies, investment strategies, and deploying improvement in their identity management practices to reach, engage, and retain customers moving forward.

This is based on a new Epsilon Identity Management survey titled ‘Key Drivers for Identity Management in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa’, created in partnership with CX Network, an online community focused on building intelligent enterprises.

The global survey draws insights from almost 200 Customer Experience (CX) and marketing experts based in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa on their key drivers for customer Identity Management, with the goal of supporting brands with improving their identity management practices.

Epsilon senior VP of APAC and MEA Patrick Sim says, “The decay of cookie technology is now forcing many brands to alter their strategies to meet changing customer expectations.

"Moving forward, CX practitioners and marketers should conduct frequent assessments of their data management and customer engagement strategies to deliver loyalty-winning customer experiences and boost customer lifetime values.”

The survey found that although cookie-based customer engagement is under question, most brands are still unprepared to address their own identity data infrastructure weaknesses.

More than 60% of those surveyed suffer from incomplete customer profiles that hamper customer engagement tactics, and 24% of respondents have data that is fragmented and siloed by channel or business function, disabling their ability to adapt to changes in customer behaviour quickly.

In addition, more than 40% of those surveyed are in the early stages of rolling out first party data capture strategies, indicating a shift in identity data management.

However, a majority do not currently enrich their first party data with third-party data and are unable to manage marketing programs without depending on third-party platforms, the survey shows.

This highlights that despite companies potentially having a more complete view of the customer, a crucial challenge to overcome lies in managing and optimising growth through identity management.

Sim says, "Campaigns run on third-party platforms rarely provide customer intelligence to companies, and this lack of intelligence in the system leads to a vicious cycle of continued dependency on these platforms.

"The solution is to invest in owned platforms and software for customer engagement, allowing for relevant, timely and compelling communication.

Businesses need to prioritise gaining an understanding of their data footprint and enhancing their data strategies, which must include capturing and leveraging first-party data to drive optimal customer experiences."

Considering the cookie deprecation, 61% of respondents plan to alter their engagement strategies. In selecting a solution provider and identity resolution partner to assist in managing customer identity data more effectively, accuracy (77%) and compliance (68%) emerged as the most desired traits, beating cost (2%).

The focus then is on an identity resolution partner that can strike the balance between respecting customer privacy regulations while also delivering intuitive, personalised, data-informed customer experiences that enhance the customer journey.

In the future, brands absolutely have to start increasing spend and focus on customer identity data management, as it will be crucial to navigating a post-cookie landscape, further enabling them to win customers' hearts and retain strong loyalty in the future.

Brands must consider investing in platforms that can craft direct relationships with customers through personalised engagement techniques, gaining an advantage over their competitors by boosting customer lifetime values through enhanced experiences.

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