GrowthJuly 20, 2017

Why it's time to rethink your customer data strategy

Times are changing, and so should your customer data strategy.

Why it's time to rethink your customer data strategy

In today’s multi-screen world, not just any data strategy will do. To enable the type of seamless, device-hopping experience that users now expect, marketers need a customer data strategy specifically engineered for the multi-screen world.

For example, mobile engagements are more personalized, proactive and long-term than their web-era counterparts. Whereas people “hired” web tools for quick, transaction-oriented jobs, mobile jobs often entail much deeper and longer-term relationships. Additionally, mobile is much more contextual, as it understands and responds to its environment, and is available wherever and whenever. Taken together, these characteristics make mobile less of a channel and more of a linking agent between channels that serves as the hub for customer experiences writ large.

What it Means for Customer Data Strategy

So how can you make ensure your data plan is up to snuff for the multi-screen era. To start, you need to keep in mind five key implications of the multi-screen era:

1. New Types of Data

The multi-screen era has led to entirely new categories of data that don’t fit the traditional “who, what, where” paradigm. For example, mobile has introduced push tokens, eWallets, device telemetry data and geospatial data, and your customer data strategy must account for these new types of information as well as the more traditional ones.

2. Heightened Time Sensitivity

It’s no longer enough to capture and process data weekly or even daily — you need to do it in real-time for a number of use cases, but particularly if you want to capture and fulfill in-the-moment needs. For example, you need to be able to proactively send users notifications based on certain actions or contextual cues, such as sending a mobile offer when users are in or near a store. That moment does not last long, so your marketing needs to be able to respond fast.

3. New User Experience Challenges

All the best marketing in the world can not compensate for a poor user experience — especially on mobile, where people want what they want when they want it. Users now expect instant load times and seamless functionality, and without an intentional and holistic data plan, you could very easily end up with a tangled web of data connections that slows the experiences and leads to app crashes. On the flip side, Wunderman study notes how consumer now hold brands to a higher standard than ever before, with 87% of people saying they now measure their experiences with a brand — any brand — against the likes of Netflix, Uber, and Amazon.

4. Increased Technology Complexity

Marketers are no longer dealing with a finite number of systems, but now an ever increasing number of SaaS applications that house and action data. At the same time, the number of places and ways that users can create data has also increased from one or two devices per use to multiple, interconnected ones. To reap the full power of data, you need a plan that breaks down all the silos between these systems.

5. Accelerating Pace of Change

Change has always been a constant, but the rate of change has increased tremendously in the multi-screen world. As others have noted, the number of new platforms and tools being adopted is only going to increase over the next several years with continued capital investment, an explosion of innovations around VR, AR, IoT, and conversational interfaces (to name a few), along with a growing demand for hybrid sales/marketing, product/marketing, and marketing/support initiatives. As a result, you need a data plan that’s built with the future in mind and allows for freedom and flexibility to change tools and take advantage of new capabilities as quickly as they arise.

Build Your Multi-Screen Data Plan the Right Way

Yes, the multi-screen era represents a revolution and presents marketers with new and more difficult to tackle challenges, but succeeding in this world is well within reach. It all starts with building an intentional customer data strategy that’s designed specifically to overcome the unique challenges of this multi-screen world.

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