Today’s consumers move seamlessly across channels, both in digital and IRL spaces. Everything from the in-store experience, to email campaigns, to web and mobile experiences, represent one holistic experience in customers’ minds. Being able to unify data from across every touchpoint and leverage it to orchestrate engaging, personalized, and intuitive experiences for customers across channels is critical.
However, with a seemingly endless web of data sources, platforms and software to string together it begins to feel like one of those impossible tasks you can never get done, and even if you manage to tick it off your to-do list, have you done it right?!
WHY DO WE NEED TO DO THIS?
When you unify online and offline data, you can create more comprehensive and holistic customer profiles and enable personalization at a consumer level. Not only does this improve the experience your customer has, but it increases your retargeting opportunities for existing and future customers via your online advertising channels.
HOW DO WE DO THIS?
The first step is to start collecting the data you have from your existing sources. These may be
your POS systems, social media and websites.
The good news is you're not expected to code and manage these all yourself with many integrations and platforms designed to assist you. These are called CDPs. mParticle, for example, offers more than 300 integration partners to make quick work of piping your data.
But if you're not ready for a CDP and are looking to start with the basics, here are the top 3 systems we recommend you get installed and working ASAP: - Facebook Pixel via Meta Business Suite
- Lead Generation Feed via your EDM provider ie Mailchimp or klayvio
- Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager
HOW DOES THIS HELP ME WITH MY ONLINE ADVERTISING?
Once you have begun plugging your online ad platforms (say Meta and Google) into your data sources, you have a number of opportunities available to you in the way of optimising for increased returns.
Custom Audiences: You are able to create exact replicas of your data sources in audience form to speak to them directly with your ads. IE. you can create an audience of everyone who has purchased a product on your page in 30 days and retarget them with ads to get them to write a review.
Lookalike Audiences: You can take your custom audiences and create audiences made up of other consumers who may or may not be aware of your brand that 'LOOK LIKE' your existing audience. So say you take your 'purchase 30-day' custom audience and create a lookalike audience of people who are similar to those who have purchased but not exactly them.
Optimise Faster & Further: The amount of data flowing through your data sources allows your online advertising platforms to learn quicker about who you audience is/could be and therefore work harder to reach them in the most effective way.
WHAT ELSE DOES IT DO?
Aside from the advertising/monetary gains, there are a number of key wins that unifying your data systems can bring.
Loyalty Programs: Armed with holistic customer profiles, you can create personalized loyalty experiences that offer customers the incentives they actually want and rewards that match the way they purchase. Historically, loyalty programs have been tricky as brands struggle to marry the data from their range of data sources to determine the above.
Automation: Personalization and creative campaigns such as the above are great, but they need to be scalable. Automation allows you to create specific actions from specific events. Say you get a new sign-up to your newsletter from someone who has expressed interest in a specific product. Automation allows you to send them a personalised email offering them free shipping for that product or a gift with purchase if they complete their transaction.
Today’s consumers expect a seamless, personalized experience across every channel and touchpoint with your brand
You can quickly and easily integrate your data using CDPs for larger-scale businesses or existing platform integrations for SMEs
Once integrated, holistic customer profiles enable deep personalization, creative marketing campaigns, more engaging loyalty programs, and automation to scale