Article

Tom Blacksell
Tom Blacksell 20 February 2017

Completing the customer view with data and digital

The digital revolution is something we hear a lot about, but how much we know about it is another matter. One thing is certain, data has a vital role in progressing digital excellence, with new sources developing on a daily basis.

The move to a digital environment has triggered some key trends and themes. 

Digitalisation and data

Data and digital exist alongside one another. We’ve already seen improvements in customer experience thanks to the two of them, with digitalisation becoming a game changer for our industry.  The modern consumer has high expectations, and they’ll settle for nothing less than experiences which are relevant to them as an individual. If they’re making a return visit to your website, for example, they expect you to know. It’s a demand smart retailers respond to and should continue to develop.

But it’s still early days. Data has huge potential when it comes to enhancing customer experience. To maximise opportunities, it’s crucial marketers and advertisers combine data from multiple sources and use it as one entity to serve their audience with relevant content based on intent, location and interests. This of course needs to be done with the necessary management of consumer consents and permissions, frequently in real-time.

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things

As the Internet of Things grows in popularity and influence, so too will brands’ ability to collect real-time data on how, when, and where consumers use their products.

Marketers need more than a series of objects connected across a network to glean insights. That’s the starting point, and needs to be followed by predictive analytics. Applying machine learning to information travelling across the network means data can be translated into an outcome that will eventually make the network self-sufficient. Now, we can start thinking about opportunities to use Artificial Intelligence (AI), as the network makes its move to become self-aware and self-regulating.

As products create data in an Internet of Things ecosystem, brands will be able to understand how a product or service is actually being used. This will enable them to deliver an improved service, using the product as an interface for data-driven support. Faults will be detected and potentially even rectified before the customer notices them, and product upgrades will be made automatically.

The full picture

The greatest benefit of collating and analysing data to marketers is achieving a clearer understanding of their audience. Painting a 360 degree picture is crucial to boosting the customer experience, but with the proliferation of digital channels it’s no mean feat. Consented first party data has been the primary contributor to achieving this, but second and third party data shouldn’t be ignored.

To achieve a detailed view of consumers, multiple data sources are required. The more quality data there is, the richer the insight. Modern marketing and advertising survives on insights. By taking an in-depth look into information, brands have the best chance to target their audiences in the most effective way possible – a goal which aligns with the aim of the entire marketing function.

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