Winning the digital customer experience with a data-driven approach

According to Gartner, 69% of the board of directors accelerated their digital business initiative following the Covid-19 disruption. The digitalization of customer experience was accelerated across B2B and B2C, with more than 50% of the customers expecting personalised and meaningful experiences across the digital ecosystem.

Marketers are at the forefront of the development. They are taking a prominent role in making the change happen, and they concept seamless customer experiences across channels and global boundaries with a pressure to make each investment count.

It is critical to optimize the way we work; measure, engage, monitor, learn and optimize. Data-Driven Marketing (DDM) provides a significant competitive advantage helping to achieve the high-level goals to build on brand and experience for long-term gain rather than building on the short-term capability of tactical campaigns.

Data-driven marketing is a more extensive concept than just number crunching or building predictive trends with AI or technical architecture. DDM helps you speak to your customers effectively by learning and evolving constantly based on accurate data from customer digital or physical footprint.

In most cases, marketers don’t need a team of data engineers, scientists, or AI experts to do the data mining, predictive, and AI recommendations. Many modern marketing tools have built-in capabilities for reporting, analytics, real-time personalization, and AI prediction to empower today’s marketers.

DDM strategy combines approaches to serve the customer throughout the lifecycle from prospect to advocate phase. In the prospecting phase, we build on targeting strategies to reach the right prospect with the right content in the right channels. During the early stages of lead, we build on first-party data strategies, gather data on the leads to understand who they are, what persona they play in the buyer lifecycle, and provide the lead with a value in the offering. In the customer stages, contact strategies play an essential role. Customer 360 aims to serve the customer better with the ability to build real-time personalization to build better engagement and increase the share of the wallet. Throughout the phase loyalty strategies, we must ask how we can reward loyal customers to turn VIP customers to brand advocates. Also, remember always to have a churn prevention strategy in place to predict the churn even before it happens.

How should one start when aiming to become more customer-centric with DDM approach? Here’s a list of the steps needed in setting up a well-functioning DDM process:

Set up the data-driven vision

The first and foremost step is to define a North Star vision. What exactly do you want to achieve? Where are you heading? Be concrete, set targets that can be quantified for development but always keep the customer at the core of development.

Data-driven marketing should be inspired based on the business’s strategic vision. Jeff Bezos had a vision for the company’s explosive growth and e-commerce domination based on customer experience. As Amazon states it: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Identify the data sources

In DDM, we look at the matrix of data that give us information to act on.

  • Demographic data (age, gender, location of residence, job title, company, education, etc.)
  • Purchase data (Product/service, location of purchase (e-com or store), monetary spent, frequency of purchase, recency of purchase, etc.)
  • Digital footprint (material browsed/downloaded, product to the basket, digital ads interacted with, etc.) are combined to create a point of truth.

All the data sources should be gathered, and tools should be identified where the data resides – CRM, marketing automation, digital advertising platforms, analytics, webpage, etc.

Break the vision into implementation use cases

Practical scenarios and use cases should be developed once the high-level vision is stated and the data source is gathered. Here the segmentation of customer data and/or identifying the bottleneck in the sales funnel can help you prioritize. Always create the use cases based on the North star vision – in the implementation phase, there can be agile launch based on business, data, technology maturity, and capability.

Create a plan for stages in the consumer journey and validate for all personas

Remember, we stated at the start – DDM strategy should serve the customer throughout the buyer lifecycle from the stages of prospect to advocate and across digital channels. Plan the use cases for prospects, leads (cold-warm), customers (new, potential, VIP, soon to churn), brand advocates. If you are planning DDM for B2B business, this is the moment to a concept for the different buyer persona needs – buyers, decision-makers, influencers, users, installers, etc. Well-planned used cases across customer journey will help later in content strategy and making omnichannel Marcom plan.

Evaluate the technology stack

The right technology can do wonders for the business and give you a jump start in achieving the goals. There are many tools and technologies available in the market. At this point, it’s essential to see which is the right tool for you and how you set up that tool for scalability and managing global businesses. This is the point to evaluate the role, ownership, and maturity of your AdTech/MarTech stack. Audit your data, licenses, features, and connectivity of the technical landscape.

Roll out the plan

In the end, it all comes down to when you can start taking the first steps towards DDM. It may vary from weeks to months depending on the maturity of the data, technology, organization, other capabilities. Identify the areas of development, plan agile roll-out. Prioritize the use cases, look for quick wins, easy to implement changes, and push the start button.

This is the point where you bring everything alive. Start with low-hanging fruits, roll out the plan in phases, optimize, learn, educate, and develop. Remember to take time to celebrate the minor achievement and remind yourself that you are building this for enhanced customer experience and engagement.

Death traps to avoid

  • Missing the mandate to change and leading change.
  • Independent approach both top-down and bottoms-up with no involvement and onboarding of team/s and management.
  • Making DDM an IT project.
  • Siloed business units and organizational structures.
  • Estimating customer needs without doing customer research.
  • Not planning and resourcing for content.
  • Aiming to achieve everything in-house.

To hear more about data-driven marketing and how we at Marketing Clinic can help your company with it, don’t hesitate to contact us!


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