Matt Goddard, CEO of digital marketing and technology company R2integrated, recently published a piece in MarketingProfs asserting that data is the problem most likely to keep “CMOs up at night.” Goddard cites a study by IBM that finds CMOs feel most unprepared for dealing with the “data explosion” among all the changes going on currently in the marketing arena. He defines the problem as one of scale: “The more people marketers try to reach—the more consumer segments they carve from data—the harder it becomes to deliver relevant content to each person.”
We actually think the quantity of the customer data isn’t the problem at all. Rather, the problem for CMOs is how customer data is currently being used, and in many cases, not used. Goddard correctly identifies personalization as the ultimate goal for most marketers, but his argument quickly devolves into creative expenditures, ad placements, and billable hours. This is where he loses the plot.
Companies need to have a fundamental shift in focus. Instead of worrying about customer segmentation and blasting out marketing messages, companies should be working towards putting the customer at the center of all business activities and operations. This means that companies must get to know each and every customer on a personal level. So, how does a company with online, in-store, and mobile sales channels get to know customers in an intimate way? Yes, you guessed it. This is where data comes into play.
Companies that want to truly learn who their customers are in this new omnichannel world need to be collecting data on each and every customer touch point. The data needs to include who the customers are, their shopping behaviors, their likes and dislikes, and even their communications preferences. The collection of this data needs to happen across every single touch point along a customer’s journey with a brand because the way a customer may like to shop online might be totally different than how he or she likes to shop in-store or via mobile. You need to have the complete, orchestrated picture. Further, this information needs to be made available across the entire organization – and must not be blocked by internal company silos. That way, company associates can use the data when it matters most – right at the moment of engagement with the customer. This strategic consumption of information is what enables personalization to evolve into individualization, or leveraging a deeper relationship when and where the customer chooses to engage.
The good news is that technology is now available to help companies collect and assimilate this data, and make it available company-wide. ENGAGE.cx is the only true customer experience-driven CRM, and it can be implemented at a low cost without disrupting any existing business processes. If you would like to learn more about how ENGAGE.cx can help you to attribute customers data, please download our newest white paper Customer Lifecycle Attribution: Correlation or Observation here.