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How can I create more complete customer profiles?

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In the new age of email marketing, marketers need to be equipped in order to fully engage and target profitable customers. Though most marketers believe they have a thorough understanding of customers' interaction with the brand and transaction history, they struggle with deeper customer insights, such as social media participation and channel preference. As more customer information becomes available, marketers will need to apply strategic insights to retain and grow their customer bases. By not engaging with customers properly, marketers are frustrating them with irrelevant marketing messages. To ensure relationship longevity with customers, marketers must incorporate critical cross-channel data to inform customer messaging and offers. According to a recent study of executive-level marketers, 86% of those surveyed said that having a more complete customer profile would increase company revenue. Marketers should be tapping into all available data in order to send out meaningful customer communication streams. Research has consistently proven that relevance drives revenue. What brands fail to realize is they already have an abundance of information about their customers--it's just siloed or inaccessible. In most cases, there's valuable data available to create the ultimate 360-degree customer profile, which incorporates enhanced targeting and personalization. Brands should start thinking more about the customer lifecycle and focus less on reactive data, such as transactions. As it stands, marketers are relying heavily on response-based transactions, such as customer inquiries or browsing patterns. We also encourage marketers to tap more into event-based triggers in order to segment customers. Big data is at our fingertips. Let's use it! Failing to use triggers such as purchase behavior, online browsing history and profitability models hinders the deliverability of targeted messages across defined communications channels. If marketers fail to adopt more sophisticated ways of engaging the customer, customer engagement levels could drop significantly. Intimate knowledge of customer preferences plays a vital role in forging a healthy, long-lasting relationship. Moving forward, cross-channel marketing platforms should completely integrate with any source of customer data, both offline and online. Michael Fisher is president of Infogroup's Yesmail Interactive (http://www.yesmail.com), which provides email, mobile and social marketing solutions.
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