There’s one marketing problem that plagues us all — the abandoned shopping cart. Is the best approach to closing a sale to send out an email offering a 30 percent discount to that customer or is there a better, savvier option? Perhaps engaging on another channel altogether?
If your company is still taking a line-item approach to its data management, the answer can be hard to quantify. The good news is that you are not alone in the marketing data confusion.
A 2017 survey by the CMO Council reveals that while 42 percent of marketers’ top priority this year is turning standalone campaigns into comprehensive customer experiences, only 5 percent feel their technology investments are up to the challenge.
At a recent event co-hosted by Teradata and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, speakers parsed through the disparate data points that drive enterprise marketers and their digital channel-focused counterparts. The answer, they found is bringing those disparate activities together in a customer hub.
Instead of staying the course, marketing professionals can reinvigorate their efforts by calibrating enterprise data with embedded digital channels, honing in on customer interaction throughout the entire buying cycle. By taking a data-driven approach, marketers can deliver a compelling customer experience, but to deliver on this goal, marketers need to ask themselves a few key questions.
Are You Still Tagging Your Website to Track Data?
In 2012, Google implemented website tagging — a way of pinning metadata from each page of a site to search engine results — and the practice is still going strong five years later. It has allowed companies to grow the approach into a full-on web analytics strategy. But, despite its merits, it’s not enough to inform customer-journey marketing.
Website data doesn’t provide the whole picture of how a buyer is behaving. Let’s get back to that shopping cart question. What if that particular buyer uses a shopping cart to pre-shop before buying in-person? What if they typically abandon their cart just to come back two weeks later when it’s payday? Website tagging (and tracking) alone will never give you insight into these more-profitable options, but a holistic view of customer-level data can. Companies need to get their data out of silos, so marketers can analyze the entire buying picture.
The other consideration is marketing clouds. Marketing clouds are supposed to give you a more integrated way to deliver your marketing messages to your buyers. In reality, these big databases are really just repurposed email service providers in disguise, with a few extra digital channels thrown in. You can think of these marketing clouds like factories, where the focus is on output and productivity. Sounds a lot like the abandoned shopping cart again, right?
Is a Customer Journey Hub the Solution?
As part of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton and Teradata event, the solution that arose is the idea of a customer journey hub. This hub should talk with email, mobile, web, social, paid media, your CRM, DMP/DSP and more. Through this hub, you can deliver specific messages instead of campaigns.
The messages from a central hub fall into three categories — planned messaging, real-time interactions and journey detection. This last item supports customer needs proactively via automated opportunities found using your data. For your customer, this type of interaction will feel less like they are getting processed through that factory and more like you are the air traffic controller allowing them to land a plane.
While each enterprise will have varied data and analytics issues, to connect with the modern buyer, all of the information should come together to help personalize their journey. If your marketing methods are steeped in some five-year-old best practices and unnecessary silos, then it’s valuable to rethink your data, analytics and interaction strategies.
How are other marketers doing this? You can read real world stories here.