Connect your marketing experts and take performance to the next level
The customer journey isn’t as simple as it used to be. In the past, customers might have interacted with your business at one or two touchpoints before making a purchase, but now there are many pathways to a conversion – digital advertising, social media, your website, email marketing and texts, traditional channels like TV and radio and even your call centre or phone line.
Not only are there many ways to connect, but also customers often switch between channels and take a zig-zag journey to a purchase. For example, they might see an ad online while browsing on a mobile, click through to your website, look around for a few minutes and leave without buying. Later, they might use a laptop to revisit your site and complete a purchase. One survey from Salesforce found that 74% of respondents used different channels to start and complete a transaction. 66% said they have switched between devices before making a purchase.
As customers skip between websites, phones, laptops and tablets, and even visit you in person, it can be difficult to track their movements and create coherent customer journeys with personalised ads and info at every touchpoint. You may have expert agencies on board to help with digital, marketing, media buying and other parts of the journey, but if they don’t have the tools on hand to work as a unified team, some customers will be falling through the virtual cracks. In a world where personalised online experiences come standard, that’s not good enough.
That’s where customer data platforms (CDPs) come in. These centralised platforms let all your agencies and in-house team members work from the same data playbook and create individualised, coherent and effective customer experiences.
From good to great
If you’re working with expert digital agencies – or if you have individual experts on staff – you’re probably delivering a ‘pretty good’ customer experience. But disconnected teams can only take you so far. When there’s no central system tying your marketing together, each team or person can only work on their specific part of the customer journey and the tools they’re using may not give them the full picture of customer behaviour.
For example, Google Analytics shows you ‘unique visitors’ to your website, but this isn’t exactly accurate. A single person can have multiple web profiles that show up as different ‘visitors’ in your data. If one looks like a sure-fire prospect and another looks like a tire-kicker, they’ll get different experiences – even if they’re actually one person using multiple devices or browsers.
This lack of synchronicity could mean display ads don’t change even when a customer signs up to your mailing list, or items in a customer’s cart disappear when they switch between devices.
Performance – and those all-important conversions – could be stronger if you stitch all your customer event data together to see a fully-connected customer journey.
Why connectedness matters
Personalisation has become a standard part of the online experience. Customers are used to seeing individualised ads and other content on their social media feeds and almost everywhere else on the internet – think targeted ads appearing in a specific sequence depending on browsing behaviour or a follow-up email after placing something in an online cart.
Disconnection between teams means that customers may not get this type of consistent, connected experience when they interact with your business online. If you don’t have the tech to track customers across multiple channels and devices, you might see the behaviour of a single customer as a collection of disconnected incidents rather than a pattern. A browser could click on a digital ad and look around your website using a laptop, then click through from an eDM to check out a product again on their phone. Without a connected view, this single person will look like two different prospects. Your digital team might target them based on the first interaction, while your comms team might look only at the second.
Rather than a continuous experience that matches up across platforms and devices, the customer will get different messaging and a potentially confusing or ineffective experience.
Create a rich customer record for greater insight
With a CDP, your teams have a centralised and consistent record of each customer’s behaviour across every touchpoint. This helps them build richer customer profiles and create super-relevant, super-targeted messaging in response.
Of course, CDPs aren’t just data repositories. They also automate many manual tasks, to the relief of your busy marketing teams. That extra time – along with those rich customer insights – can help your teams take their performance to the next level.