With the holiday season upon us, many of us are rushing around to get those last-minute gifts purchased and wrapped (or delivered). It got us to thinking about what smart marketers most want to find in their stockings this year. If you’re like us you probably want to increase sales and revenue in 2021 (what marketer doesn't?), and one of the best ways to achieve those goals is with a customer-centric marketing strategy.
Customer centricity is a data-driven marketing approach that prioritizes customer interests in all decisions related to promoting and selling your products. It requires a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences. And it isn’t just lip service: McKinsey found that companies with a customer-centric, data-driven marketing approach improve ROI by 15-20% or more. So with that in mind, we’ve come up with the top four customer-centric 'gifts' marketers should be asking for this holiday season to set themselves up for a successful 2021.
1. A unified view of the customer
Achieving a unified customer view ensures that you are working with the most accurate and up-to-date understanding of your customers and that you have a single source of truth around which you can make customer-centric marketing decisions. It gives you the ability to analyze historical customer behavior to better target and personalize future customer interactions. This can have a huge impact on the success of marketing campaigns, particularly surrounding message/content personalization, as it’s impossible to create meaningfully engaging, personalized messaging when working with outdated and/or incomplete customer profiles.
How do you gain a unified view of your customers? First, unify and integrate customer data across all your internal systems. Then collect data on all your customers’ activities across your channels. Finally, engage with your customers across all touchpoints using the data you’ve collected. Taking these steps toward data unification will help you apply revenue-boosting customer insights across your business, allowing you to stay as close to your customers as possible, respond to their changing needs in real time, and reach them with the most useful and timely shopping experiences.
2. Accurate first-party data
As support for third-party cookies is phasing out, first-party customer data has become even more important to a customer-centric marketing approach. First-party data is data that your organization has collected directly from your customers, including data from CRMs, website visitors, social media, email, surveys, transaction records, and phone conversations. The good news is that first-party data is much more reliable and trustworthy because it is collected by you, controlled by you, and stored by you, thereby giving you the most accurate understanding of your customers. You can then use this data to create personalized experiences that actually align with what your customers want.
How do you ensure you’re working with most accurate, up-to-date first-party data? Consider a customer data platform (CDP). Unlike conventional data warehouses that simply house data from multiple departments, CDPs are built specifically for marketers to unify and manage the first-party customer data that matters most, and to serve up that data in a centralized, easy-to-access way.
3. Truly meaningful personalization
A recent Accenture study found that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, recall, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. In order to accomplish this, marketers need a well-defined understanding of the key influence moments in the customer journey: from generating awareness pre-shop to conversions while shopping to deepening engagement post-purchase. Armed with this understanding, marketers can then identify the desired business outcomes at each step of the journey and test based on the ability to deliver business benefit and customer-centric value to each customer segment.
Investing in customer data and analytics is crucial in order to do this right. Personalization is impossible if marketers don’t have the means to understand the needs of their customers on an ongoing basis. As a result of this increased need for data management and analysis, the CDP has become the fastest-growing tool in the MarTech ecosystem, and the foundation for the best personalization strategies. If you don’t have one already, consider a CDP to help your organization analyze your data to identify customer patterns and trends, which can be used to influence and inform your marketing messaging and provide your customers with the truly personalized marketing experience they crave.
4. A more organized MarTech stack
Most smart marketers are already using some combination of customer relationship management systems, data management platforms, email automation, and ecommerce platforms, all of which collect and store various types of customer data. Unfortunately, this likely means that at any given time you have valuable customer information spread across multiple technology systems, making it difficult to manage, access, query, and analyze efficiently.
So what’s a smart marketer to do? Build a technology stack that aligns with their organization’s business model and overall marketing strategy, and helps plan, engage with, and sell to your desired audience. Including a CDP in your stack that seamlessly integrates with the rest of your systems is the most effective way to unify customer records, and allow for better customer segmentation, enhanced targeting and personalization, and ultimately more effective campaigns. If you’re looking for a way to improve the overall effectiveness of your current stack and to achieve the customer-centric promises of the first three gifts mentioned above, a CDP might be what your business needs to take its marketing efforts to the next level.
Customer-centric marketing will be critical in 2021
Shifting to a customer-centric marketing approach is not a simple task that can be accomplished overnight, but is one that's worth the effort. With that effort, you’ll be rewarded by differentiating your business from a crowded marketplace and gaining loyal customers who come back again and again.
Is customer-centric marketing on your wish list for 2021? Reach out to us today to learn how the QuickPivot customer data platform can set you down the right path for a prosperous 2021.