Your audience is savvy, using an array of devices, gadgets and “things” to engage with your brand or company. When you consider the volume of data that’s available – that might soon be accessible – it’s enough to blow your mind. Marketers need to be concerned with issues of reach, yet this also drives the need of consistency and real relevance across touch points and channels. It’s impressive that the interest identified on the website can inform a display ad, followed by an email offer and even a direct-mail coupon thanks to digital marketing hub advancements. Get it right and it’s a moment of wonder and awe, as if your brand universe aligns around the customer (cue choirs of angels singing) for a fantastic experience. But it takes some planning and investment to get there.
To support you in your journey toward cross-channel bliss, here are six steps to get you moving in the right direction. The key is to unite your data around a common goal – happy customers who support your brand.
- Start with what you’ve got. Do an audit of what data you have and where it lives. What are you collecting right now? If people sign up for emails, what fields are included in the form? Do you track purchase history by customer name or ID? Do you ask gender or category preferences? What about web search activity? Call center details? Get a list together so you can see what you have, and what you may be missing that could be helpful to your messaging.
- Build a team. Bring together people from across your internal silos, working together to move things forward as you centralize your data. With so many projects and tasks, the best way to keep things on track is with cross-company involvement. Team members should have authority or responsibility over a specific channel or data source so there’s ownership in the decisions being made across the organization, especially as priorities shift toward an integrated data approach. You’ll want both their brains and their buy-in on this.
- Map out customer personas. Your data integration has a single purpose – to better serve and engage your customer. This can be difficult to do if you’re not sure who you’re selling to. See how the data you have can support the buyer/customer across their entire customer journey. Consider different situations when people buy from you. Chart out the steps a sample persona prospect may take as they are introduced to your brand or services. Then see what type of data can be collected and leveraged to make each of those experiences terrific.
- Investigate the details. Be the Sherlock Holmes of the customer journey, then smooth and improve any rough spots you discover along the way. As you piece together your data, look for trends. Spend time on the stories behind the numbers. Ask yourself “why” things are happening as they are instead of focused on the “how.”
- Reduce friction with facts. Use your data to identify real issues. Is there a falling off point along the path to conversion or checkout? Are your email campaigns doing well, but activity off of purchase confirmation emails is weak? Do people click through to the home page but jump off without browsing deeper into the site? Does your strategy include ways to engage them before they get away? These can indicate a point of friction on the path to conversion.
- Work together.Not only do you need to be working together within your organization to establish shared priorities to pull your data together, you also can work with partners specializing in Data Management to both educate and support you along the way.
There are resources available to you when you’re ready to put your ideas into action.