In this guest post, Cameron Curtis (pictured below), general manager for Australia and New Zealand at Near, explains the key reasons why organisations and enterprises should be investing in technology that provides a consolidated view of their consumers.
An ever-changing, digitally-connected consumer is an increasing challenge for marketing teams in several, persistent ways. Multiple consumer touchpoints influence purchase decisions and create challenges for brands to determine the pertinent factors that influence a purchase. Understanding which media provides the biggest impact in driving engagement and foot traffic, which methods of marketing work better than the others, and what is the overlap ratio of your target consumers across media channels, are the key questions that marketers need answered to get the best results for their spends.
A solution is in sight – data platforms that incorporate multiple data sources and use data science engines to provide a unified consumer view. Here are the key reasons why organisations and enterprises should be investing in technology that provides a consolidated view of their consumers:
- Stay ahead of information overload
Today, consumers are flooded with information on products from different organisations. Studies have found that watching a video, performing an internet search, and advice from peers are the most common factors during an average consumer’s purchase journey. These channels will be different for enterprises, geographies and products, and identifying these factors is an ongoing process.
Smart marketers must also consider the location of a consumer, their activity at the time of decision, and other influences (like weather); all the factors that can be combined to identify a behaviour pattern. Metrics and knowledge about how different touchpoints, like blogs, content and social shares in the digital world, and point of sale (PoS), out of home and direct mail in the physical world, are vital in order to influence the consumer’s decision during a purchase cycle. A singular view enables enterprises to map consumer journeys across channels and identify high-impact channels.
- Drive efficiency in your customer acquisition efforts
Information leads to better decision-making and more bang for the marketing buck. Real-time analytics of purchasing trends and consumer footprints enables marketers to analyse consumers in their own stores versus competitor stores. Competitive intelligence is a gold mine for marketers, as they can make smart strategies to acquire these consumers and not overspend on existing customers.
Granular data helps marketers make multiple buckets of consumers going to the competitor stores such as loyalists, swingers and agnostics. Now, if marketers further know the high spenders and low spenders amongst these, they can distribute acquisition spends more efficiently.
- Craft a compelling brand story
Having a unified consumer view helps marketers craft a compelling brand story. Since marketers can now identify key interests and behaviours of their target consumers in real time, their brand message can be aligned to the factors that influence their target consumers. An ongoing view on audience trends helps brands get their message right on social media, offline channels and digital devices, since consumers may use these channels for different things (e.g. social media may be the channel which ‘influences’ the consumers, consumers may walk in stores to ‘touch and feel’ the product, and go digital to buy the product for convenience). ‘What’ the brand talks to their audience on these channels needs to be in line with the purchase cycle of their consumers.
Of course, unifying identities across devices, touchpoints and locations is easier said than done, especially since consumer identifiers change across channels, while data analyses happen in silos. But with location data going mainstream, it gives us the unique capability to accurately identify multiple devices in a place and find linkages between them by using data science.
Furthermore, enterprise products remain disconnected from each other and force staff to go through a steep learning curve. A solution to this problem is the introduction of data APIs in the products, enabling them to seamlessly integrate with each other.
Marketers need to start adopting technology that provides them a unified view to give them a competitive edge over competition.