Identifying and implementing the most effective platform solutions is vital to reaching consumers and leveraging consumer data to impact buying decisions
As a consumer brand, what you don’t know can actually hurt your business. Gathering information on your customers is crucial to the success of your business. But data is meaningless if you don’t understand what it’s saying about your consumers and how to act on it.
Metrics platforms can of course give you a glimpse at your consumers. These platforms can tell you how many people visited your site, what they clicked on, how they got there, and if they shared a link to social media. On advanced platforms, you may even be able to find out where your consumers are located, as well as view some basic demographic information.
Using this information, you can try to define your consumers, but can you really segment them well enough to successfully market to them?
The answer is “no.”
This is partially because most data—what I’ll refer to as “overview data”—only skims the surface. CPG brands that want to create actionable data-driven marketing strategies need to dig deeper. After all (for example), one 30-year-old, caucasian female working in the middle level of a company can’t really be lumped in with everyone else meeting those three distinct demographics. This is partially because, stating the obvious, every individual and how they interact with their environment is completely unique.
CPG brands struggle to get a holistic picture of their consumer due to the huge data disconnect that exists between brands and retailers. Brand marketers have an incredibly limited view into which of their investments are having an impact on the consumer and paying off. They often don’t know whether it is their media buy, email blasts, social media or website that is driving consumers to make in-store purchases, because they don’t have a mechanism to measure what actually gets a customer into the store to make that purchase.
A Holistic View of Your Customers
What does this mean for your data? It means that because humans are emotionally-affected and impulse-driven creatures, the high-level (and incomplete, open-loop) data you’ve probably been working with up to this point can’t adequately help you reach them. And if you’re able to reach them, you’re likely not having significant impact on their actions and behaviors in relation to your brand (or much else, for that matter).
In order to conduct successful closed-loop marketing and consumer relationship-building, you need a platform or system that aggregates data about how your consumers are interacting with the context you present them with—your website, mobile app, storefront, offers, ads, etc. This way, you can track them throughout their complete buying journey, from first point of interaction, on through to repeat purchase.
When you do a deep dive into the patterns of these individual interactions—the timing, frequency and influence these behaviors have on the consumer’s path-to-purchase—then (and only then) do you have information to make more intelligent marketing decisions.
Taking a Deeper Dive Into Data
Salesforce is an intricate and outstanding (in its own right) platform, and not one to be discounted for the value it provides for many businesses. Specifically, Salesforce is a phenomenal tool for business-to-business. However, it leaves brands and marketers wanting for something when it comes to business-to-consumer brands that sell at retail and that are looking for a more complete, telling picture of the consumer and their path-to-purchase.
The oodles of data you may find yourself staring at on the Salesforce platform—or even within a platform you may resign to build and use yourself—still really only gives you the “what and who” about your customers. But in order to reach them, what you really need to know is the “when, why and how.”
This “deeper dive” requires a more sophisticated tool likeAcquia Lift.
The Lift You’ve Been Looking For
Acquia Lift takes key information about your consumer and puts it one place. Pulling this valuable information from all of your current consumer-facing technologies—email marketing platforms, websites, mobile apps, automation tools, social pages, call centers and even third-party or offline data—Lift aggregates everything into one very thorough consumer profile.
The profile isn’t defined and then set in stone—it’s completely dynamic. As new behavioral data is captured for each customer, Lift progressively builds upon their existing profile. As this is done in real-time, it creates a constantly relevant and realistic, 360-degree view of both your identified and anonymous consumers and their behaviors.
What’s more, when an anonymous user finally provides information on their identity, Lift merges their existing “anonymous” profile with the one that now belongs to their name, age, email address, or other such information. Through Lift’s identity resolution, CPG brands can tie together online and offline buyer activity, primarily through coupons and loyalty programs.
The result? You can swiftly and successfully deliver perfectly tailored content to these well-defined consumers—what we like to call “the right message at the right time.
For example, a visitor browses the Clorox website. Lift tracks this person’s activity on the website to a unified customer profile. The visitor then provides her name and email address to receive a coupon for Clorox wipes that contains a unique coupon code tied only to her. She then uses that coupon at a Target store. Target then passes this coupon data to Clorox. Using Lift, Clorox would then tie that data to her customer profile. Clorox would be able to track her online buyer’s journey with her actual offline purchase.
Get a Clearer Picture of Your Consumer, Marketing Efforts, and How It’s Working (Or Not)
On top of deriving the most essential deep-dive data on your consumers for you, Lift also gives you detailed, visually intuitive reporting that lets you see exactly what you’re looking for in seconds, represented in a way you can understand. Using the unified consumer profile that Lift provides via an easily digestible and manageable interface, you can continue to pinpoint the best offers and communications to reach those consumers and continue to measure their impact on customer behavior.
Closing the Loop
By understanding your customers’ dynamic buying journeys and their interactions with your brand, you can architect your marketing efforts with confidence. In addition, integrating coupon or loyalty program data with a system like Acquia Lift allows customer purchase data to complete the picture of the buying journey. Only this complete picture will show which marketing vehicle or campaign resulted in purchase so that you can make it repeatable.
In doing so, you will continually prove to the consumer that you’re truly paying attention to the information about them they have given you access to, and that you are a brand they can rely on to proactively provide relevant content at each of stage of their path-to-purchase—providing them value most other brands haven’t yet nailed down.
This creates consistent interest in, affinity for and loyalty to your brand—all factors that come full-circle in bringing them in for the purchase again and again and turning them into advocates for your brand.