Identity: The Road To Better Customer Relationships

Identity: The Road To Better Customer Relationships

In this Opinion piece by Warren Billington, Managing Director of Signal Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, he looks at the importance of a strong customer relationship and how to absolutely nail customer experience.

Carlotta Vittori
Posted by Carlotta Vittori

Driverless cars are now a reality with Uber, Ford, and Volvo all rolling out their versions of the self-driving automobile a few months ago.  These auto-industry developments have ramifications marketers need to think seriously about.

What will the self-driving evolution – which is predicted to free up as much as 50 minutes a day for passengers – mean for their brands and businesses?

It means that those passengers will be able to spend that new found time relaxing, working or accessing content and media across one of their many traditional mobile devices – or even through the car itself as it becomes not just a method of transportation but also the new device du jour.

That’s an entirely new and very sizable channel opportunity for marketers to engage with their customers. But it also adds to the existing challenge of recognising and connecting with multi-screening customers.

Consider this: consumers are already using up to seven devices every day, requiring marketers to adopt various technologies to try and capture a snapshot of their customers.  For the most part these technologies don’t talk to each other, so at best marketers are gaining a fractured view of the customers.

In fact, research shows that only five per cent of Australian marketers say they have a single view of their customers. The resulting downsides reported are significant: marketing measurement is incomplete (66 per cent), customer experiences can’t be personalised (60 per cent), and the customer journey isn’t understood (44 per cent).

So what’s a marketer to do when another device – the car itself – is added into the fray?

The way forward is through mastering cross-device identity. By recognizing customers as they interact across channels, and then tying back those online and offline data points to a single person, marketers can gain a unified customer view. What’s more, when this view is persistent and gets richer with each interaction, marketers can be ready for a future full of opportunities to engage with customers in ways that can’t yet be imagined.

Cross-device identity won’t only deliver benefits in the future – it’s also key to delivering better experiences and improving marketing ROI now. Here are four specific benefits.

1. Better personalisation

Research reveals that 85 per cent of consumers prefer personalised content. And it isn’t just about personalised ads: it is about being able to understand a customers’ preferences expressed by their browsing and purchase patterns across all devices, and then responding accordingly.

By resolving identity across devices, marketers can personalise all of their communications to customers, applying what they know about each individual to create bespoke messages and experiences.

2. Improved targeting

Targeting people with irrelevant and repetitive messages can really impact a brand’s bottom line. I know that I have been irritated after booking a hotel on an online travel site only to be bombarded by ads for hotels in that city for days, sometimes weeks after.

Without the ability to recognise the customer across multiple devices, marketers risk situations like this – targeting the wrong person at the wrong time, annoying customers and wasting ad budgets. But by resolving cross-device identity, marketers can precisely reach the right customers, reducing wasted ad spend and over-saturation while improving the experience.

3. Understanding the full customer journey

Without the ability to see and connect customer behaviour across all devices, marketers are essentially flying blind when it comes to delivering the right message at the right time. If they can master identity then they can understand the customer journey, ensuring the appropriate interaction with and reaction to the individual at each stage of the marketing funnel.

For example, it becomes possible to recognize a customer from email on their work computer to a mobile app on their smartphone to a website on their home computer, and deliver the right message at each of those touchpoints.

4. Accurate attribution and measurement

According to Forrester Research, being able to optimise campaigns based on cross-device attribution insights can reduce cost per action by 30-50 per cent and increase ROI by 50-100 per cent.  Only once a marketer understands the full customer journey can they accurately attribute the outcomes of their efforts, and use that information to optimise and inform future strategies and budget allocations.

Undoubtedly self-driving cars won’t be the only disruption marketers will face in the coming years. Mastering cross-device identity will be increasingly important for brands who want to be able to target the right person, at the right time, in the right way – across driverless cars, home appliances, and the host of other platforms that we can only guess are coming down the line.

Is your organisation ready?