“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” – W. Edwards Deming
Customer expectations have changed a lot in the last few years. Thanks to technology and the surging popularity of social media, 9-5 is no longer acceptable for consumers – they now expect companies to be responsive to their needs at all hours of the day (including holidays and weekends, of course). And forget offering one size fits all experiences, customers now want content and offers that are catered to their unique needs and interests – and if companies can’t deliver on all of this, customers won’t hesitate to go elsewhere (and probably blast you on social media while they’re at it).
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. According to Brendan Witcher, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, “Each time a customer is exposed to an improved digital experience, their expectations for all experiences are reset to a higher level.”
How can companies ever be expected to keep pace with these sky-high, constantly evolving consumer demands? It sounds like an impossible feat, but it’s not. To deliver the experiences customers want, companies need to shift their focus away from ROI and customer conversions and instead focus on becoming customer obsessed. And to become customer obsessed, they need to leverage their data to its full potential.
The Power of Data
Data is the key to really understanding your customers. It can help you discover who they are and what motivates them, and enable you to offer personalized experiences that are in line with what they want.
John is a diehard Buffalo Bills fan. After a loss, he’s targeted with two separate offers for pizza. Offer A – Hey Bills fan, cure your game day blues with this limited time offer. Offer B – Don’t miss this limited time offer.
Offer A is more likely to appeal to John because it’s timely and catered to his personal interests.
Companies who can successfully adopt this kind of people-first approach are the ones who will thrive beyond the age of the consumer – companies who can’t likely won’t last for long.
And the good news is, while technology has definitely contributed to higher customer expectations, it’s also made it easier for companies to aggregate and analyze their data in order to determine what customers want.
AI and machine learning technologies now allow organizations to easily capture and draw insight from their data. Predictive analytics takes it a step further by allowing marketers to pinpoint what to do with the insight gleaned from the data. The more data collected, the better companies will be able to understand and engage their audience, and today’s customers are willing to give up information if it means they’ll get the types of offers they want.
Ready to take a people-based approach?
If you’re ready to make your customers happier by adopting a people-based approach to marketing, you’ll need to work with a vendor who can deliver on four essential capabilities. They are:
1. Real-time data and digital identity
You need to know what your customers are trying to do right now, and you need to create digital identities so you can recognize them across channels, devices, and time. It’s important to be transparent about collecting data, so you don’t lose their trust.
2. Multi-layered predictions and machine learning
You need an AI platform that can make multiple predictions, and keep up with real-time changes to customer data. This means taking thousands of inputs, making a prediction, and acting on it—all within milliseconds. Machine learning enables automation for ongoing optimization.
3. Dynamic digital personalization
You need a personalization engine that lets you deliver individual experiences at scale—from offers and ads, to personalized pages and recommendations presented by a live or virtual chat agent.
4. Real-time data and digital identity
Once you have identified your target audience and personalized the experience based on their predicted intent, you must be able to act in real-time.
7.ai can help you deliver on all of these essential capabilities. Our advanced platform captures and leverages data to help you create memorable customer experiences at every touchpoint. Learn more about people-based marketing and see real-life examples of personalization in action in our article, Marketing Gets Personal: Letting Data Lead the Way. Download your copy today.