Today’s consumers expect more from the brands they choose to let into their lives. They want relevant, meaningful experiences delivered anytime, anywhere they want to interact. Essentially, they want to be known. They want brands to actually “get them.” That’s why 84 percent of consumers think being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.
Brands have taken notice, and research shows that the vast majority are making moves to deliver on these experiences. Brands have invested in and built up their martech tools, their data collection capabilities and their connections across CRM and loyalty ecosystems.
Even though brands are leveraging first-, second- and third-party data, they are still leaving much on the table. Many are only using a fraction of the data already available to them to personalize experiences across customer journeys. Too often, they are only optimizing data collected in a channel, within that same channel.
To meet consumers’ rising demands, marketers need to start using the data that’s available to them—across every channel and every interaction. Right now, their personalization approaches are good, but they need to be great to win with today’s consumers.
Being great means understanding your customers’ identity: truly knowing who you’re speaking with and what they want. Not cookies, not personas, but real people. It’s where data from within channels informs all channels, where the broadest and most current data is used, and where every personalized experience informs the next. Let’s look at some advanced tactics to make this happen in CRM and loyalty.
Personalize every channel and use the data to personalize the next
It’s clear that the way to win customers is through cohesive and authentic interactions. That means the entire experience has to be fueled by data. Brands shouldn't personalize just one channel, but every channel using innovative technologies.
For example, interactive email—which uses web tactics such as carousels—is helping marketers drive engagement up to four times higher than standard “mass sends.” A great application of this interactive approach is similar to those children’s “choose your own adventure” books, where a customer’s responses to questions drives the next set of content displayed.
Brands should use innovations like interactive email to increase engagement and collect that valuable personalized data to leverage within future touchpoints. An interactive experience helps brands generate even more data, which fuels further meaningful interactions with customers. It helps brands know their customers better, to speak to them at the right moment and to serve up interesting and applicable content. It’s helping brands tap into major gains in revenue and build long-lasting relationships.
Identify your customers and fuel further personalization with loyalty solutions
Ideally, every brand wants to create an unbreakable bond with customers. This bond is built on delivering authentic and seamless interactions that meet customer needs over time. It requires a direct and known relationship with consumers throughout their entire brand journey.
Loyalty marketing strategies can help brands clearly identify their customers: who they are and what they want. Brands can then use this identity, applying people-based technologies to personalize experiences that deliver relevance and meaning.
It’s clear that this loyalty depends on technology. It requires data collection, where loyalty solutions provide the permission brands need to collect, access and use personal data. It also takes people-based martech to support data management, insights, orchestration and activation across the brand journey. Data collected is fed back into the martech foundation so that brands can learn, iterate and constantly improve personalization.
In the end, when taken together, media, promotions, engagement levers, CRM and loyalty programs are powerful tools for brands to create and nurture loyalty across the entire purchase funnel. Proactively connecting these loyalty builders in the consumer journey enables brands to amplify the amount of first-party data collected and unlocks the ability to deliver increasingly one-to-one experiences.
When this type of personalization is done well, marketing becomes more effective, consumer relationships become more enduring and brands are rewarded with increased revenue.
Want to learn more?
Download Merkle’s Q4 2019 Customer Engagement Report. See how your brand stacks up against other market leaders, learn advanced tactics to drive personalization, and read case studies to see how industry leaders are deploying advanced tactics to win with today’s empowered consumers.