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customer data stack

30-second summary:

  • Unprecedented times that lead to new consumer behavior.
  • New consumer behavior requires new avenues of engagement.
  • Only with a 360-degree view is it possible to find new customers and enlarge your customers.
  • Get a modern data stack that will help you do this faster and more reliably.

“We are in unprecedented times.” Haven’t we all heard this a million times in the past year? It is clear that this unique period in history has had a profound impact on every part of our lives, and one area that has seen strong growth coupled with fascinating new trends is the retail and e-commerce sectors. With so many people working, studying, and living at home, the model of customer loyalty for retailers has changed completely.

However, the need for a solid, holistic view of the customer remains consistent. Only with a full 360-degree view of the customer – from initial consumer awareness to a smooth checkout process to maintaining a loyal, long-term relationship – can you find and cultivate new customers, reduce their purchase time and increase growth in customer relationships that you already have.

The data you’ve relied on over the past year – or even the last quarter – to make business decisions is no longer enough to gain competitive advantage in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.

In unprecedented times, customer loyalty must be achieved in unprecedented ways. Here are three steps you can take now to get a better, more complete view of your customer this year.

Meet your customers where they are on their shopping trip

At first glance, this seems obvious, but where your customers are today may not be where they were last year. In fact, many retailers are seeing a change in the way consumers interact with their brand.

With countries, cities, and counties locked for a long time, the standard pedestrian traffic that retailers have experienced for decades is no longer there. But it’s more than that: people don’t commute as much, which means awareness-raising efforts like billboards, radio ads, and other physically placed advertisements (think buses, malls, etc.) aren’t seen with as many eyes.

Where are your customers? It all depends on your brand and your target audience. Social apps like Snapchat and TikTok have grown in popularity since the pandemic, as have streaming services (e.g. Disney +, Hulu and Netflix). Advertising on these platforms is a lucrative way to engage with people right now.

Rethinking your awareness strategy is not only important, it’s the first step in creating a 360-degree view of your customer. Once you know where your customers are – and where they’re not – you can find more.

Record all of your customer data

From your early awareness promotion through your website and check-out experience to creating repeat, loyal customers, the data flows back to you from your customers on an unprecedented scale.

Every ad impression, every shopping cart addition, and every opened email generate important data that you can use. Often times, however, companies don’t capture all of the data and try to put it together later to make business decisions (we’ll get to that in Step 3).

In order to generate this 360-degree view, it is important that you capture and merge all of this data. For example, with just your website and check-out details, you have only part of the view of what your customer looks like and how they behave.

You might be able to reduce the time to buy by, for example, finding that a 10% discount pop-up window helps check out a stalled shopping cart. With just that dataset, however, you can’t necessarily deduce what you might want to do to get more customers like this one.

What if that 10% discount cuts your buying time AND finds new customers? With the 360-degree view described here, you can gain that insight into your brand awareness or your demand team so they can test a discount earlier in the sales funnel A / B and optimize your efforts.

Get a modern data stack that works for you

If you haven’t heard of Modern Data Stack, you will very soon. Essentially, it’s a collection of modern tools that help you make decisions faster with more data, greater reliability, and less effort.

It starts with all of the SaaS tools and applications you already use for your work – think Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Shopify, Marketo, and so on. Instead of looking at the data on each platform manually – or via spreadsheets from those Platforms have been downloaded – you’re pumping them all into a single cloud data warehouse.

You can do this manually which is a huge undertaking and can result in working with outdated data or with an automated data pipeline tool like Fivetran.

Once your data pipeline has pumped all the data into your cloud data warehouse, you can create models to visualize your 360-degree customer view.

For example, you may want to model different attribution models to understand the most effective first touch, perform segmentation analysis of your ad performance by audience, or look at specific parts of your marketing funnel.

Then you can pump all of these models into the dashboard of your choice, and everyone in your company will use fresh, complete data to make advertising spend decisions.

The bottom line is that these three steps really represent the future of all data-driven decisions. Even as we emerge from these unprecedented and certainly new times, you can take this scalable, modern system with you to empower your business regardless of future changes.

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