Individual online data - the key to improving the customer experience

04 September 2017 / Mitch Vidler
Unlocking the power of individual online customer data can help brands to arm themselves with granular insight to deliver the experience that consumers crave and, dare I say it, has been lost in the 21st century.
Online individual customer data enables you to start to connect customer intelligence derived from social media, online media and mobile marketing with your offline CRM and purchasing data to create a comprehensive single customer view. This shift transforms your understanding of each individual customer and prospect’s behaviours and needs, helping you to provide smoother and much more personalised experiences, while also benefiting from more effective and cost-efficient campaigns that bolster ROI.
 
This granular insight takes the guess work out of marketing. Here’s a few examples of how individual online data can benefit the path to purchase:
 
How online customer data can help pre-purchase
Behavioural data is vital to ensuring you create the right messages, at the right time.  Like sending an offer for a product that an individual is likely to need, at that moment in time. With screen real estate at a premium, you need to be showing the consumer what they are interested in, nearly every time, or they will lose interest and it will cost you!
 
Looking at data on an individual level can even inform PPC and retargeting campaigns to ensure messaging is relevant – which is key for engagement and cost-efficient campaigns. For instance, if you worked for a car dealership, you may want to focus your campaigns on those willing and able to purchase a car.
 
When the prospect enquires about a vehicle, they may use a finance calculator, this provides you with a rough estimate as to whether they are likely to qualify for finance. If it looks likely, you can then use tools like Google Customer Match and Facebook Custom Segments to focus spend on selected and specific keywords or ad slots for that individual to encourage a purchase.
 
This is much more ethical and effective then selecting all keywords that could be relevant and avoids targeting someone who cannot afford to purchase the car.
 
How online customer data can help during the purchase
This valuable new data can also allow us to understand the reasons for, and to reduce basket abandonment. You could automate this analysis by creating a program that models the data to create insight in real-time – helping you encourage a purchase when the customer needs it!
 
For example, you can start to:
  • identify when the basket is being used as a shopping list - where a consumer adds multiple similar items while they decide which one they want
  • see who is likely to checkout organically within three days
  • include abandonment location, so that if an individual abandons on a checkout page, you can classify them as higher value prospects than those that abandon on an account page.
With this additional granular level of individual behaviour and propensity to purchase, you can target marketing communications at those who would benefit from it most, giving the customer a great experience, not just following them around the web with mind numbing display adverts, which are costly for you.
 
How online customer data can help after purchase
Understanding your individual customer data, not just broad segments allows you to build models that talk to people on an individual, human-level, enabling you to offer the right product or service.
 
Take a pet shop for example, it’s one thing knowing that a person owns a dog or a rabbit, but understanding individual’s pets more can maximise the individual’s experience. Knowing things like the lifespans of those pets, what the individual likes to look at on site, their purchase journey and the triggers which may indicate those journeys speeding up or changing (such as an individual starting to look at dog collars when they usually just browse rabbit food) allows you to tailor communications to maximise your customers experience over time.
 
This helps to encourage loyalty, vastly increasing lifetime value of a customer and in turn increasing ROI.
 
Five steps to unlock the power of individual online data:
  1. Capture online data on an individual level
  2. Connect this with your offline data
  3. Apply sophisticated data analysis (don’t just generalise at segment level)
  4. Use this insight to shape the individual’s omnichannel experience
  5. Measure effectiveness and generate greater ROI
In today’s competitive landscape, we are all expected to stay a step ahead of consumers and to know them even better than they do. Using online individual data will enable marketers to have a much deeper understanding of their customers – at every encounter. Leading brands will bridge online and offline, delivering seamless experiences throughout the customer journey.