Know Your Customers Wherever They Are
There is an article about tracking today´s multichannel customers at HBR Blog Network which is pretty interesting.
It starts with a short story to show how a buying process can look like today:
Jane wants to buy a TV and starts her shopping journey with a Google search. She finds an electronics review site, clicks on a banner ad, reads about the product details, and decides to go into the store to see the model. She speaks with a sales associate and posts a picture of the TV on Facebook for her friends’ feedback. She also uses her smartphone to do a quick price comparison, and scans the QR code to get additional product information.
Welcome to problem #1 for retailers…
It´s almost impossible for companies to track all the channel customers interact with when buying a product or service. There are just too many different touch point a company can´t control, so it´s of course getting harder to analyze the whole progress and make personalized offers, track customers or collect data.
The authors of the article talk about four keys to track multichannel customers:
Be systematic: We need to identidy and evaluate all of the touch points where we interact with a customer. We shouldn´t stop at data that is at hand or is already easily matched with a customer. A good start is to seperate different customers or segments like big spenders, loyal spenders, future spenders, and so on)
Foces on the important data: Tie together existing data, don´t try to track ALL touchpoints and combine transaction data (such as purchase amounts over time) + browsing data (including mobile) + customer service data (such as returns by region). We need data that will help us achieve specific marketing goals.
Fill in the data holes: There are three main types of external data sources that can be invaluable:
Data you can buy: Broad census data, panel data, and “traveling cookie” data – Data you can buy from external companies. The authors give some examples.
Data you can request from customers: Logging in to the website, using a loyalty card in store, identifiying themselves when calling customer care, and so on
Data you can partner for: Vendors such as Visa have partnered with retailers to introduce highly targeted location-based offers to consumers as they make purchases.
Match the data with the customer: To match all the collected data we need a IT system that keeps the database up-to-date and complex algorithms to work with the data. That´s probably the toughest part – interpreting the data which is matched to the different customers.
I think “Match the data with the customers” is pretty interesting because what do we need to do with all the data if we´ve found a way to collect them and combine them? Even though I´ve posted some marketing-articles already I´m thinking about focussing on this case for a seperate article: Which scenario is possible and how can we handle the different scenarios.