In theory, brands have more data than ever before on their customers—their preferences, purchase history, spending habits, demographics, intent, and other attributes. In theory, that large amount of data should make it easy for companies to truly understand their customers and deliver the best, most personalized experience, whether online, in store, via email, or on a customer support call. We say “in theory” because the reality is that shockingly few are able to take advantage of the benefits that “big data” provides.
The problem here is that typically this data lives in silos. The ecommerce data is in one area, the in-store data lives somewhere else, the email team has campaign results data, someone else has social media data…you get the picture. So, when marketing does try to execute a really personalized, segmented campaign, they can’t do it without calling someone in the IT group, or a marketing data analyst to pull a report. Then they must wait for that report, plug it into a marketing execution tool of some kind and fire away. By that time though, the data might be days or even weeks stale, and is probably incomplete leading to outdated promotions or irrelevant offers.
Another issue here is data quality. Even if customer data from multiple sources can somehow be united from its various silos, most companies find that the underlying quality of the data presents its own obstacle. Many have trouble reconciling that the “John Smith” who buys on the website, is the same “J Smith” that downloaded their mobile app, or that the “Jonathan Smith” who is their loyalty member are all the same person. This fragmented state of the customer data leads to an incomplete view of the customer, and is a poor foundation from which to build a successful loyalty program.
This is part 2 of 3 in the Data and Customer Loyalty series. Stay tuned for Section 3 on using data to build a strong foundation for personalized campaigns, coming next week.
Ed Wolf is Head of Sales at Zylotech, where he uses his background in data, technology, and analytics to help organizations bridge the gap between customer data and insight. A resident of Somerville, MA, Ed enjoys spending time with family as well as delving into sports and music. In his free time, Ed can be found on the soccer and baseball fields coaching, listening to the latest NBA deep dive podcasts, as well as visiting some local establishments to check out the latest Boston bands. He loves to talk data, analytics, sports and TV, so reach out anytime for a chat!
If you liked this post, check out our other blog post on ways to personalize campaigns.