Data is the most powerful tool a retailer can wield. If aggregated and used correctly, data can position your company ahead of the pack and grow your customer base exponentially. However, choose the wrong data or misinterpret its meaning and you’ve wasted your biggest asset. With the overabundance of data at retailers’ fingertips, it’s imperative to have a strategic plan in place to leverage the data and build a customer acquisition and retention platform around it.
In an evolving digital environment where shoppers are connected 24/7 through their mobile devices, retailers must leverage data throughout the shopping process to convert it into a powerful sales tool. With data collected at every turn — transactions, loyalty programs, mobile searches, location, social media, CRM — it’s difficult to determine which pieces will be most impactful to reach your customers.
Retail marketing can no longer be one-size-fits-all as today’s consumers are looking for personalized brand engagement experiences. Any good retailer is likely well aware of these challenges. It’s understanding these hurdles and determining a data-driven solution that's necessary to elevate brand awareness to new and loyal customers alike.
Segment Based on Customer Loyalty
Since customer acquisition will likely always be one of your main priorities, it’s mission critical to leverage your existing CRM data to create segmented campaigns and to deliver more insights-driven promotions specifically geared toward a respective customer’s brand loyalty. This dynamic segmentation gives you the opportunity to provide each of your customers a unique offer and branded interaction that's relevant to their past purchases. Show more modest offers to your loyal customers and reserve the richer offers to lure prospects who aren't yet purchasing from you. As a result, you’ll acquire new customers and gain incremental purchases from your existing, loyal customers.
Create Meaningful Brand Experiences
Rather than addressing broad demographics, take the extra step to personalize content based on a customer’s individual level of brand awareness. By creating differentiated brand experiences, you’ll foster brand engagement appropriate to where the shopper is within his or her respective customer journey. By knowing what customers purchased in the past, for example, you can leverage that data to predict what they might be interested in buying in the future. When a customer feels like the messages they receive are truly personalized to their unique shopping behavior, they’re more likely to find the message relevant, keeping them coming back for more.
Build Brand Equity
It’s crucial to embrace every opportunity you have to engage consumers with your brand, especially in the micro-moments that come with the delivery of a promotion. Consider partnering with mobile and digital platforms that create an interaction with your brand in addition to providing them offers. By doing this, you have the ability to use bite-sized media interactions to help you communicate your unique story. Personalize your media by using the CRM data you already have, showing your loyal shoppers one version and new customers another. In delivering promotions, mobile media formats are now interactive and image rich, so say goodbye to boring static images of age-old retail offers. Create offers that are visually enticing to generate emotional connections between customers and your brand.
As a retailer, you know how daunting the copious amounts of data can be to mine through and use effectively to reach your customers. However, the tide is turning with the influx of CRM insights and tools that allow for intelligent data processing at the individual retailer level. All of this data you have access to is a gift. If used correctly, the outcome will be astronomical.
Bryan Leach is the CEO and founder of Ibotta, a mobile shopping app that pays consumers cash back on their everyday purchases.