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Driving Customer Engagement with a Seamless Experience

Neil O’Keefe from the Data & Marketing Association explains why it’s important for businesses to connect with customers across multiple devices.

Neil O’Keefe

Data and Marketing Association

Why is it important to build a connection to your consumers across all devices?

Marketing is about relevance. It’s essential to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Modern technology, including artificial intelligence, allows brands to build one-to-one customer experiences at a scale that was never possible before. However, consumer devices have grown exponentially since the advent of the smart phone in 2007 and this makes it more difficult to truly know your customer and how they prefer to engage with your brand. The average customer today owns seven or more connected devices and uses three or more daily, but marketers typically see just one device. The ability to connect with customers across multiple devices means that your company sees the full view of the customer’s brand interactions and ensures that your customer doesn’t receive irrelevant ads for items they have already purchased. With over 62 percent of companies increasing the priority of cross-device identification, now is the time to focus on this technology or risk falling behind the competition.

How can retailers begin to implement omnichannel engagement strategies within your marketing?
Retailers have the unique opportunity to combine both physical and digital channels into a unique experience. They can design their website, mobile app and other digital channels in a consistent manner that creates a seamless experience in the same way they design their brick-and-mortar locations, adhering to the brand’s style guidelines but with customer experience always top of mind. The digital experiences, however, bring the ability to personalize with each customer. This will pay dividends, because 55 percent of customers said they are more likely to shop with brands that always personalize their experience. Either by hiring staff with these technical skills or by investing to train existing staff to leverage evolving technologies, your company can begin to execute a truly omnichannel marketing campaign.

How can retailers begin to make sense of the various buckets of customer data that they collect? Where do they start?
Leaders within companies will often complain that they don’t have the data they need to make data-informed decisions. But often, that’s not true. They have the data, but it is segmented into various departments, datasets, or dashboards. It’s usually the insights that are scarce. Not the data. In 2017, marketers spent $20 billion on third-party data, with half spent on the data itself and the other half spent to draw insight and make the data actionable. To begin to turn this data into insights, break down the silos within your company and allow your strategies to be informed by multiple data sources. This can be a culture shock, and you may face resistance from teams who are entrenched in their ways, but it’s a critical step to ensure making data-informed decisions.

Why should data driven marketing be a priority for retailers in 2018?

Data-informed marketing will ultimately be more efficient, saving money for the company’s bottom line. While initial investments may take time and money, the company will ultimately see return. Additionally, customers have come to expect relevance, and 80 percent of customers have chosen to switch brands due to a poor customer experience. The perfect example of a poor customer experience might just be receiving a marketing offer or advertisement that isn’t relevant.

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