Monday, October 21, 2013

Today, marketing success requires data integration and experience customization

        To all data-driven marketing professionals in retail industries, we are all facing a data explosion era; you may collect a lot of data, but do you really utilize it well? Extracting insights from big data and enhancing the customer's experience will be a key challenge for all of us. As a masters candidate of the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University, I want to share two articles with you. 

        Firstly, mobile apps have changed consumer behaviors toward searching and shopping. While improving functions of apps to attract customers, retailers should also grab the chance to utilize more data from mobile devices and integrate that with data from other mediums. Smart retailers don’t just collect data; they see the big picture, transforming the data into brand stories and experience customization. A vast amount of data from mobile devices is the new gold mine. It not only enables us to improve customer service, but also helps us to improve other business problems, such as employee relations. I found an article in The Jordan Times. It showed several statistic trends of mobile device that you might find interesting: Mobile devices, dataanalytics key to businesses future growth —experts

        However, knowing what kind of data we can extract from multi-media is still not enough. How can retailers use that to improve customer engagement? Today, the power of word of mouth influences customer retention and acquisition, and the key factor that drives word of mouth is customers’ experiences toward the brand. In this intensive competition, only brands that utilize insights from data to customize customers’ experiences will be crowned. Here is another article on Forbes that may help you to think about that: Customer ExperienceControls Business Growth Today
        To summarize these two articles, we should start to do the following things:
    Link data from different mediums in order to see the big picture. 
According to the second article, consumers have turned “omnichannel”. Therefore, in order to maximize the usage of different channels’ data, such as from mobile, linking data from different platforms is essential for brands. Retailers can establish a multi-dimensional customer profile about where and when customers search, shop, and give feedbacks. While merging data and linking key identifiers together, marketers can see the big picture and avoid falling into silos.

     Utilize data to improve experience customization    
Data is dead, only storyteller can make it alive. Stop collecting data and then putting it away! Retailers should re-evaluate current datasets and extract consumer insight. By segmenting different customer groups and digging into customers’ preference and behaviors across different media platforms, we can better understand what they really want and take the chance to outshine competitors. These insights will tell customers’ stories and really help the brands to engage and customize customers’ experiences.

     Differentiate your apps from others and deepen the customer engagement.           
Since mobile has been an important tool for marketers to collect data, how to keep engaging with customers and consistently communicate with them define the winner in the long run. By analyzing data, retailers can find niche advantages to establish their apps’ uniqueness, and also get more useful data from consumers. Two birds, one stone.

        By executing the actions above, marketers are able to extract insights from data in multiple dimensions and increase a brands strengths. In addition, since the mobile market hasn’t reached the mature period yet, every brand has a chance to win. Why not starts it now?
Contact information of the author:    
As a masters candidate with proven data analytics and consumer insight professions, Flora Yang will graduate in December 2013. She is looking for marketing analyst positions in retail, CPG, financial and agency industries. Reach her on Twitter: @finverota or via LinkedIn

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