As your buyers are real people, your marketing must engage them as such. But all too often, businesses approach them as IP addresses or cookies or devices. Instead of getting closer to them by treating them as individuals and providing them with personalised experiences, they push them away by serving up irrelevant, bland, and generic communications.
Rather than alienating them, you must focus on having meaningful conversations with them. And with the threat of companies at risk of losing over one-third of their customers through a lack of or poor personalisation, a joined-up approach to data, insights, and targeting is essential. Identity management is critical to removing fragmented, siloed, inaccurate data that impedes effective marketing. But what should you be doing to achieve this? Well, here are four areas to focus on.
Develop your data strategy
Concentrate on building a firm foundation for your marketing by plugging your data gaps. Ensure you’re using all your channels to collect and replenish your first-party data, while seeking additional data sources – including zero-party and second-party data – to enhance your insights beyond your current information. In doing so, you gain and offer a more holistic view of your customers. Then use this data-at-scale to update or refresh your customer profiles to reflect your buyers today and start developing long-term customer value.
Lay the foundations for your ID programme
Having well-organised and unified data across your company is essential. This allows you to build an identifier for each of your customers so you can recognise them when they’re on or off-site and communicate with them appropriately. But ensure this identifier is stable. Don’t rely on a single data point to achieve this but a broad mix – offline and online – to optimise your identity management and ensure it will be persistent, accurate and scaleable. These could include:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Postal address
- Login data from your site
- Offline and online transaction data
- Device ID
- IP address
- Social media handle
Creating your own identifier is just one option. If you lack the resources or capabilities, seek external support in developing your ID strategy. But do it soon, so your marketing continues to resonate in a post-cookie world.
Focus on truly understanding your customers
Gain a 360-degree customer view by investing in technologies that improve your analytical capabilities and provide visibility into your customer journeys, on and off-site. Use your data to understand customer buying patterns and triggers. Then activate it by developing relevant and individualised marketing messages for each stage of their buying journey to encourage purchases and drive sales.
Use customer journey insights to encourage future buying decisions
Gaining greater visibility into your customers’ purchasing behaviours and preferences allows you to begin predicting future purchasing behaviours and identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities. An effective customer ID puts you in a better position to focus your insights into driving future sales by understanding, for example, which customers can be converted to a particular up-sell or what bundled offerings might appeal to specific buyers. By better anticipating future journeys, you’ll boost long-term value.
Developing a coherent identity strategy will pay dividends in the future and overcome the issues associated with data that’s incomplete, inaccurate and in silos. And with 70% of people regularly getting irrelevant ads or messages from brands, it allows you to replace disjointed, ineffective, and annoying communications that fail to recognise customers as real people with consistent, relevant, and welcomed messages. In doing so you build stronger, more profitable, long-term relationships.
If you're looking for help in any of these areas, or want to understand more about how adopting these approaches can benefit your business, then please contact us.